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 applications.
A lot of people do not put much thought and claim them as the same. However, this is not the case.
If two phrases had 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” is a reciprocal pronoun referring to two people or things.
- “One another” refers to three or more people or things.
- Both phrases express mutual actions or relationships, with the main difference being the number of participants involved.
Each Other vs One Another
The difference between Each Other and One Another is that the phrase ” Each Other ” refers 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 includes two subjects, but One Another includes more than two subjects.
Each Other is considered informal and is more common. The synonyms that we use are one another and every last one.
Each and the 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.
|Parameters||Each Other||One Another|
|Number||It is used when only two people or things are involved.||It is used when three or more people or things are involved.|
|Type||It is considered informal and is more common.||It is considered formal and is not so common.|
|Synonyms||The synonyms used are one another and every last one.||The synonyms used are each and every, one and all.|
|Confusion||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.|
|Examples||She and her cousin resemble each other.||The whole group gave advice to each other.|
What is Each Other?
Each Other is considered 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 surprised each other. 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 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 it fits better when we use it in a sentence.
This is why it is really important to apply grammatical terms in sentences. A lot of times, this process is proven useful in avoiding 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 exchanging 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 always to 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
- 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.
- Each Other is considered informal and is more common. On the other hand, One Another is considered formal and is not so common.
- The synonyms for Each Other used are one another and every last one. The synonyms used for One Another are each and every, one and all.
- Each and the 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.
- Last but not 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.
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Emma Smith holds an MA degree in English from Irvine Valley College. She has been a Journalist since 2002, writing articles on the English language, Sports, and Law. Read more about me on her bio page.