Difference Between Each Other and One Another

Each Other and One Another are two of the most confusing phrases in English Grammar. This is especially because people find it hard to differentiate between the two and thus their application.

A lot of people do not put much thought and simply claim them as the same. However, this is not the case.

If two phrases have the same meaning and features, they would not have been introduced in the world of English in the first place.

There are various rules and we only get used to them when we apply them.

Let us dive into some distinct differences and details in this article. This shall help us to figure out their proper characteristics.

Each Other vs One Another

The main difference between Each Other and One Another is that the phrase Each Other is used to refer to two people or objects. Whereas, the phrase One Another is used when we refer to more than two people or objects. Moreover, we can say that Each Other include two subjects but One Another includes more than two subjects.

Each Other vs One Another

Each Other is considered informal and is more common. The synonyms that we use are one another and every last one.

Each and other are two separate words and people often get confused about it. It is used when only two people or things are involved.

On the other hand, One Another is considered formal and is not so common. The synonyms used for this phrase are each and every, one and all.

One and another are two separate words and people tend to confuse use while speaking. It is used when three or more people or things are involved.

Comparison Table Between Each Other and One Another

ParametersEach OtherOne Another
NumberIt is used when only two people or things are involved. It is used when three or more people or things are involved.
TypeIt is considered informal and is more common. It is considered formal and is not so common.
SynonymsThe synonyms used are one another and every last one. The synonyms used are each and every, one and all.
ConfusionEach and other are two separate words and people often get confused about it.One and another are two separate words and people tend to confuse use while speaking.
ExamplesShe and her cousin resemble each other.The whole group gave advice to each other.

What is Each Other?

Each Other is considered as a formal phrase. Conventionally, it is used during an informal conversation.

When we write something unofficial or informal we do use the term Each Other. It is used to refer to two things or people only.

When referring to more than two things, Each Other is Grammatically a wrong usage of words. It might not look absurd with the sentence and new learners or beginners might find it really confusing.

This is why their application in sentences is really essential

People who mainly practice spoken English get confused with this particular usage. They tend to mistake it as a single word. When we spell it out, it sounds co-dependent.

However, they are two separate words. Both Each and Other have their own separate meanings.

However, when we add these two in a sentence, it gives a completely new meaning.

Let us take an example: She and her best friend gave each other a surprise. Here in this sentence, we can see that the number is restricted to two.

It means we can see only two individuals are involved. For such sentences, using Each Other is grammatically perfect and sound.

What is One Another?

One another is considered as a formal phrase. Conventionally, it is used during a formal conversation. When we write something official or formal we do use the term One Another.

It is used to refer to three things or more.

It is mainly used when we are referring to more than two things. There is no logical reasoning behind it but when we use it in a sentence, it fits better.

This is why it is really important to apply grammatical terms in sentences. A lot of times this process is proven useful to avoid mistakes.

People who are new to English Grammar can get even more confused. They tend to get confused between One Another and Another One.

These two are not only different phrases but have completely different meanings.

Another one means to ask for a different one. Also, it depends on the sentence we are using it in. The meaning varies accordingly.

It might also mean to exchange a particular thing with the same type. Also, it can mean adding another thing of the same type.

This is the reason it is important to always consider the sentences.

Let us take an example: The group of friends hugged one another. Here we can spot more than two people are referred to.

In such a sentence, One Another is the right fit. In modern English, people do not seem to put much focus on syntax.

However, using other phrases as synonyms might not be grammatically sound.

Main Differences Between Each Other and One Another

  1. The main difference between Each Other and One Another is the number. Each Other is used when only two people or things are involved. One Another is used when three or more people or things are involved.
  2. Each Other is considered informal and is more common. On the other hand, One Another is considered formal and is not so common.
  3. The synonyms for Each Other used are one another and every last one. Whereas, The synonyms used for One Another are each and every, one and all.
  4. Each and other are two separate words and people often get confused about it. One and another are two separate words and people tend to confuse use while speaking.
  5. Last but not the least, examples. Example for Each Other is: She and her cousin resemble each other. An example for One Another is: The whole group gave advice to each other.
Difference Between Each Other and One Another

Conclusion

Over the years, people have been ignoring these distinct differences between ‘Each Other’ and ‘One Another’.

Even the authors and writers tend to use them without considering all the grammatical rules. Hence a lot of sentences that we structure are incorrect.

Or sometimes it totally changes the meaning and yet we are not aware of it. Logically speaking they do have their meaning in terms of the English Language.

However, it is not wrong to say that ‘Each Other’ and ‘One Another’ are synonyms of each other. Sure they do differ in many ways but in a few cases, they are indeed interchangeable.

Hence it is very important to practice them in sentences. Without practical examples, it is impossible to figure out the features of these phrases.

References

  1. https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.1083.7400&rep=rep1&type=pdf
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/23556621
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