#EngClass: Reciprocal Pronoun

Let’s start today’s session by looking at this picture:

Do you think the kittens are attacking each other, or attacking one another?

@ririnceu: each other

@Hearmason: attacking one another

To answer this question correctly, first we need to understand the concept of Reciprocal Pronoun (RP).

RP is when two or more subjects are doing the same thing, at the same time. 

For example, A is doing something to B, whilst B is also doing something to A.

In the English language, there are two known RPs: Each Other and One Another.

In the Indonesian language, they can be translated as “saling …”

What’s the difference between Each Other and One Another? The answer is very simple.

We use Each Other when there are two subjects involved (terlibat).

We use One Another when there are more than two subjects involved.

So the answer to the question will be like this: The kittens are attacking each other.

However, many linguists have dissenting opinion (pendapat bertentangan) about the difference between the two.

Some believes that you can use Each Other and One Another for more than 2 subjects.

But generally they agreed that we use Each Other when there are only 2 subjects.

So, Each Other can be used for both, whilst One Another can only be used for more than 2 subjects.

Source: Quick and Dirty Tips, British Council English learning page

Image: Warren Photographic, dreamstime.com

Compiled by @animenur for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 2 August 2015.

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