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Everytime vs. Whenever: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on March 4, 2024
"Everytime" emphasizes a consistent reaction or event in response to a specific trigger, focusing on repetition. "Whenever" indicates any time a particular situation occurs, highlighting flexibility and a broader range of occurrences.

Key Differences

"Everytime" is often used to describe a situation or reaction that happens consistently and without fail each time a particular condition is met. It suggests a pattern or habit that is reliably repeated, emphasizing the regularity and predictability of the response. "Whenever," on the other hand, is used to denote any time or every time a certain condition occurs, but with a nuance of flexibility and less emphasis on repetition. It suggests that there is no specific pattern or that the speaker is open to various possibilities within the condition stated.
While "everytime" focuses on the consistency of actions or reactions following specific events, "whenever" encompasses a broader range of situations, indicating any occasion of an event happening. "Whenever" is more versatile, also being used to indicate willingness or offer without a specific condition, such as in, "Call me whenever you need help."
The distinction also extends to the tone and implication in usage: "everytime" (or the standard "every time") may suggest a stronger emotional or causal connection between the event and the reaction, while "whenever" may convey a more casual or varied relationship between conditions and actions.

Comparison Chart


Indicates a reaction or event that consistently happens each time a specific condition is met.
Refers to any or all times that a particular situation occurs, with a nuance of flexibility.


Informal as "everytime"; formal and correct as two words "every time".
Formal and correct usage in both casual and formal contexts.


On the consistency and predictability of the reaction or event.
On the flexibility and range of occasions for the event or action.

Usage Context

Describes a habitual action or reaction linked to a specific trigger.
Describes actions or possibilities that occur in response to a condition, with less emphasis on repetition.


"Every time I see a shooting star, I make a wish."
"Whenever it rains, I feel like reading a book."


Suggests a strong, consistent connection between events.
Conveys a more open, varied relationship between conditions and actions.

Additional Uses

Focused on repeating scenarios.
Can also indicate willingness or offer without a specific condition.

Everytime and Whenever Definitions


Emphasizes predictability.
Every time we talk, I learn something new.


Less emphasis on repetition, more on possibility.
I read whenever I get the chance.


Indicates a pattern or habit.
He checks his email every time he wakes up.


Indicates openness to various outcomes.
You can join our game whenever you feel like it.


A consistent occurrence in response to a specific situation.
Every time I visit, she makes my favorite cake.


At any time a situation occurs, with flexibility.
Whenever I'm in town, I'll stop by.


(proscribed) every time


At whatever time.


When. See Usage Note at whatever.


At whatever time that
We can leave whenever you're ready.


Every time that
The child smiles whenever the puppy appears.


At any time that.
Visit whenever you want to.


At the (single) time that, no matter when.
Tomorrow I'll get up whenever the sun rises.


Every time that.
Whenever he has a pair of aces, his eyelids twitch.


Regardless of the time that.


Whenever I was a child, I lived in Arkansas.


(interrogative) When ever: emphatic form of when.
Whenever will I find time to finish that jigsaw?


At any time.
Feel free to visit whenever.


At whatever time.


How does the usage of "every time" affect the tone of a statement?

Using "every time" can make a statement feel more emphatic or emotional, highlighting a strong link between a condition and its outcome.

Does "every time" imply something happens without exception?

Yes, "every time" suggests that an event or reaction happens consistently and without exception whenever the specified condition occurs.

Is "everytime" a formal word?

No, "everytime" is considered informal and nonstandard. The correct formal usage is "every time" as two separate words.

Can "whenever" be used to indicate willingness?

Yes, "whenever" can indicate an open offer or willingness, as in "I'm here to help whenever you need me."

Is "whenever" more flexible than "every time"?

Yes, "whenever" is used in a broader sense to indicate any time a condition occurs, emphasizing flexibility and a range of possibilities.

How does the choice between "every time" and "whenever" affect the perceived relationship between events?

The choice affects perception; "every time" suggests a deterministic relationship where one event invariably leads to another, while "whenever" suggests a more conditional or opportunistic relationship.

How do "every time" and "whenever" compare in terms of conveying urgency?

"Every time" may convey a sense of immediacy or importance to the repeated action, whereas "whenever" might suggest a more relaxed or open-ended timing for the action.

Can "whenever" and "every time" be used interchangeably?

While they can sometimes be used in similar contexts, their nuances mean they are not always interchangeable. "Every time" is used for consistent occurrences, while "whenever" implies flexibility and a broader range of instances.

What grammatical role do "every time" and "whenever" play in sentences?

Both "every time" and "whenever" function as conjunctions or adverbial phrases, connecting clauses and indicating when actions occur within sentences.

Is there a context where "whenever" cannot replace "every time"?

Yes, in contexts emphasizing a strict and unvarying repetition of an event directly tied to a specific condition, "every time" is preferred, as "whenever" implies a broader, more flexible range of occurrences.

Are there dialectal variations in the use of "every time" and "whenever"?

Yes, dialectal preferences may influence the frequency and context in which "every time" and "whenever" are used, with some dialects or regional languages possibly favoring one over the other in colloquial speech.

Can "whenever" be used to express frustration or annoyance?

Yes, "whenever" can express frustration or annoyance in contexts where the speaker wants to highlight the unpredictability or inconvenience of the timing. e.g., "Whenever I'm about to relax, something urgent comes up."

Do "every time" and "whenever" have equivalents in other languages that carry the same nuances?

While many languages have equivalents to "every time" and "whenever," the nuances and exact meanings may vary due to cultural and linguistic differences, requiring context-specific translations.

How do "every time" and "whenever" interact with the concept of frequency in events?

"Every time" emphasizes a high frequency of occurrence linked to a specific trigger, suggesting no exceptions. "Whenever" suggests variability in frequency, depending on the occurrence of the condition.

How does the usage of "every time" vs. "whenever" change in formal writing versus casual conversation?

In formal writing, "every time" (as two words) is used to denote specific, repeated occurrences with precision, while "whenever" is used for general conditions or offers. In casual conversation, the distinctions might blur, with "whenever" possibly being used more loosely.

Can "every time" be used to start a sentence?

Yes, "every time" can start a sentence when it precedes a dependent clause, often followed by a comma. e.g., "Every time I visit the city, I discover something new."

Is there a preference for using "every time" or "whenever" in literary writing?

Literary usage depends on the desired emphasis and rhythm of the text. "Every time" might be used for dramatic or emphatic repetition, while "whenever" could suit more fluid, temporal descriptions.

What impact does using "every time" have on reader interpretation compared to "whenever"?

Using "every time" can lead readers to anticipate a specific, repeated outcome following certain events, while "whenever" allows for a wider range of interpretations due to its broader applicability and flexibility.

Can "whenever" be used to imply any time in the past, present, or future?

Yes, "whenever" spans past, present, and future contexts, indicating actions or events that can occur at any unspecified point in time.

Can "every time" be used to emphasize emotional responses in narrative writing?

Yes, "every time" is effective in emphasizing consistent emotional responses or actions triggered by specific events in narrative writing, adding depth to character behaviors or reactions.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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