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"each other" and "one another"

Posted by R. Berg on December 14, 2005

In Reply to: "Each other" and "one another" posted by Hong WK on December 14, 2005

: What's the difference between "each other" and "one another"?

"Each other" is properly used for reciprocal relations (e.g., exchanges) between two entities and "one another" for relations among more than two. This distinction makes sense if you think of expanded forms of the phrases: "each to the other" and "one to another."

"John and Mary talked to each other."

"John, Mary, and Jackie talked to one another."

Note that a group can be one of the entities, so sometimes "each other" is correct when more than two persons are involved.