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Is It “Each Other” or “One Another”? Which is Better?

Should you use “each other” or “one another?” In English, there are many synonymous options for us to use. While this can often be useful in helping us create unique pieces of writing, it can often be a big headache for new writers. With this, what are some of the differences between using the phrase each other and the word one another. 

A graphic showing two phrase: Each Other or One Another

Usage Similarities

Some usage similarities connect these two phrases. Both phrases show that all members of a group do something or share something with other members of the group. For instance, if two people both like the other, you could say that they like each other or like one another. In the sentence, both of these phrases usually act as the verb’s object. 

Here are some examples of both phrases in use:

  • They like to share food with one another when they eat.
  • They dance with each other a lot
  • They sing with one another every week at church
  • Suzie and Jamie were very fond of each other
  • They liked to hang out with one another

Showing Possessiveness With Each Other And One Another 

By using regular plurality rules (adding an “s” to the end of the word), you can make both of these phrases show possessiveness. This is especially useful in storytelling, where people need to be attributed to thoughts, ideas, or actions. 

Here are some examples of using each other and one another for possessiveness.

  • We all tend to enjoy one another’s company
  • Suzan and Michael were both fond of each other’s cooking

Differences Between Each Other And One Another 

The only real difference between these two phrases is how people normally use them. Firstly, one big distinction is that many people view one another as quite formal when compared to each other. In addition, some also claim that each other should be used to talk about two people/things, whereas one another should be used to talk about more than two. These rules aren’t set in stone, though, and most people will accept if you use them interchangeably. 

Related: Is It Everyone or Everybody?

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By Ryan Fisher

Ryan holds degrees from Pacific Lutheran University and specializes in proofreading, editing, and content writing with an emphasis on business communication.

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