You are here

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




It means that a language might change its rules, as the time goes by.

I think that somebody made a mistake, when they were doing this topic. Look, in theory "each other" refers to two people and "one another" refers to more than two people and in examples its just switched xD
So according to this topic everybody should be confused so admin pls correct it as soon as possible thx.

Hi Ortin

I think the point of the examples is that the rules are not always followed in Modern English. If you do the activity, you have to obey the old fashioned rules to get the answers right.

Jack Radford

The LearnEnglish Team

I need to learn more for this lesson. it's quiet cofuse.

i do not able to understand this lesson

this is really usefull
i hope we get good from this.