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    #1

    one anther or each other

    Hi dear teachers,

    "a set of animals or plants in which the members have similar characteristics to each other and can breed with each other." I have picked up this sentence from my dictionary. As far as I am considered about the use of "each other and one anther", "each other" is used for two persons and "one another" is used for more than it. If so, in the above sentence picked up from a dictionary, shouldn't the bold parts be "one another" ?


    Thanks.

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: one anther or each other

    Strictly speaking "each other" is used when there are only two, and "one another" when there are more than two. In practice this rule is often violated.

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    #3

    Re: one anther or each other

    Yes, violated and confusing too.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: one anther or each other

    Quote Originally Posted by kite View Post
    Hi dear teachers,

    "a set of animals or plants in which the members have similar characteristics to each other and can breed with each other." I have picked up this sentence from my dictionary. As far as I am considered about the use of "each other and one anther", "each other" is used for two persons and "one another" is used for more than it. If so, in the above sentence picked up from a dictionary, shouldn't the bold parts be "one another" ?


    Thanks.
    This entry is talking about any two of a number of species that can breed with each other. This is not an error.

  3. probus's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: one anther or each other

    I apologize for the lack of utility of my earlier reply. As Mike has pointed out, in your example the author is considering arbitrary pairs of two members. One could concoct a broader and more general statement such as this: "A species is defined by some people as a group whose members can successfuly mate with one another."

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    #6

    Re: one anther or each other

    Quote Originally Posted by kite View Post
    Yes, violated and confusing too.
    This distinction is so widely ignored nowadays that I wouldn't worry much about it.

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    #7

    Re: one anther or each other

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    This distinction is so widely ignored nowadays that I wouldn't worry much about it.

    If it's so, I don't have to worry either.

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