Main Difference – Each Other vs. One Another
Both each other and one another are two reciprocal pronouns. The main difference between each other and one another is that each other is used with two entities while one another is used when there are more than two entities.
What Does Each Other Mean
We use the reciprocal pronoun, each other when there are only two people or things. For example, imagine a situation where there are two girls. The first girl looks at the second person and smiles; the second does the same. So we can use this pronoun as follows.
The two girls smiled at each other.
Similarly, we can make sentences as indicated below to talk about two entities.
“Romeo and Juliet loved each other.”
“The two dogs barked at each other.”
“The policeman and the thief helped each other.”
“The two sisters were jealous of each other.”
“The husband and wife often fought with each others.”
The possessive form of each other is each other’s. This is generally used with a singular noun.
“The two coaches commented on each other’s strategy.”
What Does One Another Mean
According to traditional grammar rules, we should always use the reciprocal pronoun if we are talking about more than two entities. So, if we are talking about three or more people or things, we should always use ‘one another.’ However, keep in mind that, this grammar rule is not strictly obeyed by many writers.
“The three boys looked at one another and started to run.”
“They looked after one another very well.”
“They were teasing one another when the teacher entered the class.”
“My family members always help one another.”
“Harry, Fred, and George wrote to one other during the school holidays.”
However, there is an exception to this rule as explained by the Associated Press Stylebook. Both each other and one another mean the same when they are used with an indefinite number. Thus, we communicate with each other using Skype, and we communicate one another using Skype are both correct and mean the same. Similarly,
We hate each other = We hate one another
People use the internet to communicate with each other = People use the internet to communicate with one another.
The possessive form of one another is one another’s. This also should be followed by a singular noun. However, deviations from these rules can be observed in modern writing.
You should also keep in mind that both each other and one another is never used at the beginning of clauses.
Difference Between Each Other and One Another
Each Other is a reciprocal nouns that means the same.
One another is also a reciprocal noun that means the same.
Each Other is used when there are only two entities.
One another is used when there are three or more entities.
The possessive form of each other is each other’s.
The possessive form of one another is one another’s.