What are Reciprocal Pronouns
Reciprocal pronouns are pronouns that indicate a mutual action or relationship. We use reciprocal pronouns when two or more people are doing the same thing. Look at the following situations to understand the concept of reciprocal pronouns.
A is talking to B and B is talking to A.
A hates B. B also hates A.
Tom gave gifts to Mary and Kathy. Mary gave gifts to Tom and Kathy. Kathy gave gifts to Tom and Mary.
In the above situations, the same action is being done by all the parties. We can use reciprocal actions in such situation – situations where two or more people are doing the same thing.
There are only two reciprocal pronouns in English. They are,
These two reciprocal pronouns are easy to use. When we are referring to two entities, we use each other. When we are referring to more than two entities, we can use one another.
Examples of Reciprocal Pronouns
My little sister and brother hated each other.
The two dogs started barking at each other.
They didn’t look at one another on the road.
The suspects blamed one another for the crime they were accused of.
Mary and Thomas loved each other and wanted to get married quickly.
The boys shouted rudely and laughed at one another.
The bride and the groom gave each other gold rings at the end of the ceremony.
The students were fighting with one another when the teacher entered the classroom.
They looked after each other’s children as promised.
The two boys shook hands with each other and promised to forget their enmity.
Romeo and Juliet loved each other.
Harry, Ron, and Hermoine wrote letters to one another during the vacation.
It is important to note that this grammar rule – using each other for two people and using one another for more two people–is not always followed in modern English. Nowadays, people use one another and each other interchangeably.
The possessive form of each other and one another is each other’s and one another’s, respectively. They should not be written as each others’ or one anothers’.
They admired one another’s qualities.
Jane and Maria looked after each other’s children.
Reciprocal Pronouns – Summary
- Reciprocal pronouns indicate a mutual action or a relationship.
- Reciprocal pronouns can be used when two or more people are doing the same action.
- There are only two reciprocal pronouns in English; they are each other and one another.
- Each other can be used when there are two people, and one another can be used when there are more than two people.
- This rule is not always followed in modern grammar.
- The possessive form of one another is one another’s and the possessive form of each other is each other’s.