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

Comments

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

Kirk

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,
Kirk
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?

Thanks.

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.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear sir,

I almost clear, thank you sir.

Regards

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,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you very match

Pages