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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 didn’t look at one another.

i have questioned above the word. my question is why u using "at" preposition that area.
actually it will use "at" preposition for place. there is no mention place. i worrying about that. pls clarify.

Hello taj25,

We use 'at' to describe place but we can use it in other ways too. For example, we can use it to express time ('at six o'clock'), price ('three shares at $100 each') and direction ('I threw the ball at him').

Your example, I would say, is similar to the last of these: the preposition 'at' shows the direction of the looking.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hallo dear team,

He didn't look at her and she didn't look at him.

Is this sentence right without preposition “at”?
He didn't look her and she didn't look him.

We are going to patient waiting for your answer sir. We are know that you have a thousand of duty

Hello fahri,

No, those sentences are not correct without 'at'. 

Thanks for your understanding.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello British Council team,

'I can exchange information with (the) other learners'

In this sentence I just want to know about the word 'THE'. Is this sentence correct with 'the' or without the'?

I'm very much appreciate your your help with teaching English

Hello again naaka,

Both sentences are correct; which one is correct depends on what you mean. Using 'the' would mean that you assume that the reader knows which other learners you're speaking about, whereas omitting 'the' would indicate the opposite. See our Articles 1 page for more.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

i shaved myself . what's wrong in that

hi Marshood,
we don't use reciprocal pronouns with verbs that we used to do it usually
best regards

Hello marshood,

This is not how native speakers of standard British English speak. See our reflexive pronouns page for more details.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

'each other' refers to two people and 'one another' refers to more than two people.
In the example sentence, there are only two people but you have used one another
Peter and Mary helped one another, can you please explain. Thanks in advance.