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Reciprocal pronouns

Level: intermediate

We use the reciprocal pronouns each other and one another when two or more people do the same thing.

Peter and Mary helped each other.
Peter helped Mary and Mary helped Peter.
We sent one another Christmas cards.
We sent them a Christmas card and they sent us a Christmas card.
They didn't look at each other.
X didn't look at Y and Y didn't look at X.

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

They helped to look after each other's children.
The group of students often stayed in one another's houses.

Note that we do not use reciprocal pronouns as the subject of a clause.

Reciprocal pronouns 1


Be careful!

Reciprocal pronouns and plural reflexive pronouns (ourselves, yourselves, themselves) have different meanings:

John and Fred killed each other.
John killed Fred and Fred killed John.
John and Fred killed themselves.
John killed himself and Fred killed himself.

Reciprocal pronouns 2




Hello. Is there any difference between "Can anyone lend me a bit of money?" and "Can somone lend me a bit of money?". Thank you.

Hi again Eugene Yezhov

There is a slight difference. If you use 'someone' it can mean that you expect a person to say yes or that you are trying to persuade a person to say yes. 'anyone' is more neutral or factual -- it doesn't indicate anything about the speaker's expectations or wishes. Otherwise they mean the same thing.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sir,

what is the meaning of the verb (met) in this sentence : Last night I (met)my girlfriend's parents and she (met) mine.

Best wishes.

Hi medmomo,

'meet' has several different meanings, but here it probably means that it was the first time your parents and girlfriend saw and spoke to each other. It's hard to be sure without knowing the context.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear sirs,

Peter and Marry helped one another.

If we concern to grammartical in traditionally, I think we should use EACH OTHER instead of ONE ANOTHER, because there are only two people who are mentioned in here.

Is my thinking correct?


Hello hoamuoigio,

That is correct. However, as we say on the page above, this is a rule which is disappearing from the language and the two forms are now used interchangeably.



The LearnEnglish Team

Dear sir,

I almost clear, thank you sir.


Peter And marry helped one another, why we don't say each other?
All my greats

Hello Mohamed,

You can say 'each other' or 'one another' in the sentence you ask about. As is explained above, traditionally 'each other' was the preferred form for a sentence like this, but nowadays most people don't recognise this difference.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Teacher,
I confused the usage of each other and one another. for example, which one is right:
1. I love Sagal to each other
2. sagal loved me to each other.

also when i want to make possessive, may I use like this:
for example; Sagal took to my car each other's or
Sagal and I took car to one another's