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Hi again. I'm Adam. Welcome back to www.engvid.com. Today's lesson is about reciprocal nouns.
This is something that gives people trouble often it seems, so I'm here to explain it a little bit
and show you when to use it, when not to use it.
First of all, what does this word mean: "reciprocal"? "To reciprocate"-that's the verb-"to reciprocate"
means to return an action. So I do something for you, you do something for me. The action
is reciprocal; goes one way, goes the other way. Doesn't have to be the same action, but
it's some sort of... Returning a favour basically or returning help.
So we can use: "each other" or "one another" to show a reciprocal action. These are called
reciprocal pronouns. Okay? "Each" is a pronoun, "one" is a pronoun, "another" is a pronoun.
These are in groups, they are reciprocal pronouns. Now, quite often, people mix these... They
mix the use of this with "themselves". Okay? "Themselves" is not a reciprocal pronoun.
"Themselves" is called a reflexive pronoun. I won't get into too much detail about reflexive here,
but a "reflexive pronoun" is a pronoun when you have the subject acting on the object, and the object is the same as the subject.
So: "I hit myself." I am the subject, I am also the object.
I hit myself, it's reflecting back to me.
Reciprocal, there's always somebody else or other people involved besides myself. Okay? Besides me.
"Tom and Jerry hated each other." Now, I'm not sure how old some of you are.
I know I'm maybe giving away my age a little bit, but Tom and Jerry were very popular cartoon characters when I was a kid.
Tom... Tom was the cat I believe, Jerry was the mouse,
and they always used to hate each other. Near the end, when I got older, they became friends;
it was very disappointing. It was better when they hated each other and always used to do bad things to each other because they were... It was kind of funny.
"Tom and Jerry hated each other."
Tom hated Jerry, Jerry hated Tom; the feeling was reciprocal. Okay?
Here, it's not an action, it's a feeling, but we can use it in the same way. We use it like an action verb.
"Tom and Jerry hated one another." Basically, the meaning is the same.
Now, there's an argument between grammarians, people who study grammar, who think that "each other"
should only involve two characters, "one another" should involve more than two characters. Realistically though,
they're interchangeable; you can use one or the other.
Everybody will get the exact same meaning, regardless which one you use. Okay?
Now: "Tom and Jerry hated themselves."
Does this mean the same as these two? No, it does not. If we say: "Tom and Jerry hated themselves."
means Tom hated Tom, Jerry hated Jerry. No relation between the two. Tom hated himself,
Jerry hated himself. Okay? So this is not a reciprocal action; this is a reflexive.
Now, another situation we have is with the apostrophe. Okay?
"Linda and Kate were bridesmaids at each other's weddings."
"Linda and Kate were bridesmaids at one another's weddings."
"Wedding", I'm going to have to look that one up. "Each other's weddings" though for sure. Okay?
It basically means the same idea. One to you, one back to me; reciprocal actions. And you can use it.
Now, some people put these together, especially language learners who are a little bit new to the language, they say: "Each other".
Now, keep in mind, a native speaker will take the "ch" sound with the "o" and mix it - " "eachother",
but they are two separate words, you can't mix them.
And some people also think you can put the apostrophe
after the "s", this is also not the case because we're talking about one person to one person,
so the "s" always comes... The apostrophe-sorry-always comes before the "s" to show possession. Okay?
It's a little bit confusing, but very useful to know how to use these. Actions going two-way.
If you're not sure, go to www.engvid.com, there'll be a quiz there where you can try out these examples.
And if you have any questions, please ask; I'll be very happy to answer them.
See you again.
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Learn English Grammar: EACH OTHER & ONE ANOTHER

28163 Folder Collection
Man published on October 9, 2014    陳美瑩 translated    Mandy Lin reviewed
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