- English Grammar B1 Level - https://open.books4languages.com/english-b1-grammar -

Each other and One other

Introduction

Pronouns are words used to avoid repetitions of a noun.

We use the reciprocal pronouns each other and one other to refer to subjects that are related.

Form

The reciprocal pronouns are each other and one another.

Each other and one another have not a fixed position in the sentence, but they usually go after verbs or prepositions.

NOTE: We don’t use reciprocal pronouns as subjects. We do not use them with the verbs meet and marry.

Example

  1. Two people/animals/things
    • John and Tom were talking to each other whilst painting the house.
    • The two girls were helping each other to transfer the heavy carpet.
  2. Two or more people/animals/things
    • The boys were kicking the ball to one another.
    • The students were gossiping to one another while decorating the classroom.

Use

We use reciprocal pronouns when two (each other) or more (one another) people do the same thing (reciprocally) at the same time and when the subject and the object are the same people.

We use:

  1. Each other when we talk about a person/animal/thing that does/feel/give a thing to another person/animal/thing, that does the same thing to the first person/animal/thing, at the same time.
  2. One another when we talk about a group of two or more people/animals/things that do/feel/give a thing to another group of two or more people/animals/things, that does the same thing to the first group, at the same time.

Summary

We use reciprocal pronouns, when we have more than one subject, as a part of a group, acting in the same way to each other (reciprocally) at the same time.

We use:

  1. Each other when we talk about a person/animal/thing that does/feel/give a thing to another person, that does the same thing to the first person/animal/thing, at the same time.
  2. One another when we talk about a group of two or more people/animals/things that do/feel/give a thing to another group of two or more people/animals/things, that does the same thing to the first group, at the same time.

For example:
“Mary and Sally looked ateach other in the eye.” = The two girls did the same thing at the same time.
“The passengers were talking to one another.” = More than two people are doing the same thing at the same time.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.