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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 talk to each other regularly.
      = John talks to Fred and Fred talks to John.
John and Fred regularly talk to themselves.
      = John talks to himself and Fred talks to himself.

Reciprocal pronouns 2




"They [five members] looked each other." means [1] In the five members group each member looked the remaining four members. or [2] In a five member group each member looked only one member. which one is correct ? can you give the sentences for both ways?

Hi Sabago,

I would say that [1] is the most likely meaning.

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team

Reciprocal pronouns: each other and one another is really interesting

Respected Sir,

Question # 3. My answer is "You and Jack did not talk to each other" but when I click on the "Check Answer" button it says the answer is incorrect. Please, tell me what the right answer is then.

Hello Arshid,

If you click on the Submit button, it will show you the correct answers.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team 

Dear sir\madam
I do feel grateful for your help and I would like to say that I couldn't solve one of previously question.
please tell me the right answer.
the question is:
"Complete the second sentence so that it means the same as the first sentence. Use 'each other' or 'one another'."
4. I gave him a present and he gave me a present.

and I wrote: "We gave each other a present"

where is the fault?
With y best regards
Ahmad Alali.

Hello ahmad.y.alali,

The problem here is the word 'present'. This should be plural as there were two different present being exchanged. That said, I think many people in everyday conversation would say 'a present', so your sentence sounds quite natural even if 'presents' would strictly be the correct word.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team


Is "We gave each other presents" and "We gave each other a present" different?


Hi Cesar98,

The first sentence could refer to multiple presents - we gave each other ten presents, for example. Other than that, there is no difference.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello everyone!! I am a newbie. I am glad I found this website.
By the way, I am always confused about how to say the phrase: "This past few days or these past few days?"
Thank you :)