We use the reciprocal pronouns each other and one another when two or more people do the same thing. Traditionally, each other refers to two people and one another refers to more than two people, but this distinction is disappearing in modern English.

  • Peter and Mary helped one another.
    Peter helped Mary and Mary helped Peter.
  • We sent each other Christmas cards.
    We sent them a Christmas card and they sent us a Christmas card.
  • They didn’t look at one another.
    = He didn't look at her and she didn't look at him.

We also use the possessive forms each other’s and one another’s:

They helped to look after each other’s children.
We often stayed in one another’s houses.

NOTE: We do not use reciprocal pronouns as the subject of a clause.

Exercise

Section: 

Comments

Hello ihsan69,

Both of those answers are correct. I've just tried the exercise and it shows both 'looked at each other' and 'looked at one another' as correct. If you press Finish, and then press Show Answers, it shows both of these as correct. Did you perhaps write both answers at the same time in the gap? If so, that's must be the problem – you should only write one correct answer, not all correct answers.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi! I don't understand.. the rule says: each other refers to two people and one another refers to more than two people, and the example: Peter and Mary helped one another....why not each other ?? if it referes two people

Hello PaolaPao,

This is explained above where it says:

Traditionally, 'each other' refers to two people and 'one another' refers to more than two people, but this distinction is disappearing in modern English.

This means that, for the most part, both forms are used without the difference in meaning nowadays.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

 

hello all i did get the first one but each other’s and one another’s l didn't get it and one more thing l know that one anothe is use in case if we have more than two people or things is that right ?

Hello naeli,

As the page says, 

Traditionally, each other refers to two people and one another refers to more than two people

However, note that this distinction is disappearing in modern English.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

l got it. thank you very much indeed peter M

Hello there. .
One is for your bags,the other is for you.
How many noun phrases are In this sentence?
Is the word (other)in this sentence classified as a pronoun?

Hello jay bee,

This kind of parsing is not something we deal with on this site - and we also try not to answer questions which we think come from people's homework or tests, and this looks like one of those!

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Peter
Thanks for your reply...
It isn't what you think it is...it was a question in a recent exam that I've had...and the answers given by the lecturer weren't very convincing...that's why I asked for your help...
Thank you :)

hello learnenglish.britishcouncil.org staff,
Thank you for your pretty and useful job that you are doing here

You said: each other refers to two people and one another refers to more than two people.
and the examples are:
- peter and Mary helped one another. those are two people, why did not we use each other?
- We sent each other Christmas cards. those are more than two people, why didn't we use one another?

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