Introduction to Reciprocal Pronouns
The definition of reciprocal pronoun, as the word goes, are those pronouns used in the English language which have give-and-take and a sort of a joint relationship among themselves. They usually refer to two or more doers or subjects of the action, and each subject ends up being both the perpetrator and receiver of a particular action.
Some common examples of reciprocal pronouns in the English language are, ‘each-other’, ‘one-another’, etc., wherein the former is always used when there are two sources of action and the latter always comes into place when there are more than two doers of the action present in a sentence. For example: ‘Both the students lied to each-other’, and ‘The children shared the sweets with one another.’ Hence reciprocal pronouns are used when there is mention of two or more two subjects in a sentence as they represent shared events, distribution, or a reciprocal behavior between people or groups.
Usage of Reciprocal Pronouns
Although all reciprocal pronouns indicate a relationship between two or more entities, you must remember certain rules to make the right choice of reciprocal pronouns to be used in different scenarios. Some examples of reciprocal pronouns used differently in different situations are:
- You should use ‘each-other’ only when talking about two people or entities on whom the effect of the action talked about falls. For example, Romeo and Juliet loved each other dearly; The two friends hugged each other passionately.
- You should use ‘one-another’ when more than two entities are talked about on whom the effect of the action falls. For example, Family members should always support one another; A team only wins by cooperating with one another.
- Reciprocal pronouns can also play the role of the object of a verb or preposition. For example, The two teenagers hit each other violently in the street fight; Almost all the witnesses in the room are lying to one another.
- In some cases, a sentence may even start as a reciprocal pronoun as its subject. For example, Each-other needs to recognize the significance of cooperation in a marriage; One-another backs their aspirations and goals.
Examples of Reciprocal Pronouns in Action
Reciprocal pronouns enhance the understanding of communal associations in a sentence. Here are some examples of reciprocal pronouns to demonstrate the same:
- The two brothers always support each other.
- The members of the team helped one another to understand the nitty-gritty of the proposed new plan.
- No matter how much the siblings may quarrel with each other at times, they still stand for one another when the time calls for it.
Now, let’s have a look at the correct way to use reciprocal pronouns in different sentence structures:
- Subject + Verb + Reciprocal Pronoun:
- The sisters helped each other with their homework.
- The group depends on one another for the given assignment.
- Subject + Verb + Reciprocal Pronoun+ Object
- The husband and wife respect each other’s insights.
- The crew members appreciated one another’s endurance.
- Reciprocal Pronoun + Verb + Preposition + Object:
- The class went on a trip with one another
- The dance partners collaborated in the dance show with each other.
- Reciprocal Pronoun + Verb + Adverb/Adjective:
- The children meet one another enthusiastically on the first day of school.
- The two firefighters helped each other bravely during the fire.
Reciprocal Pronouns vs. Reflexive Pronouns
The reciprocal and reflexive pronouns resonate back to a noun and a pronoun already mentioned in the sentence. A clear understanding of the two is essential to meticulously discern the difference in the correct usage of the two in different situations.
As mentioned earlier, reciprocal pronouns are mainly used to indicate a shared or joint action between two or more subjects in a sentence. The two most commonly used reciprocal pronouns in the English language are ‘each-other’ (used for two subjects), and ‘one-another’ (used for more than two subjects).
Example: They love each other; The group talked to one –another on the prevalent issue.
Reflexive pronouns, on the other hand, are used to refer back to the same person or thing by the subject or the object of the mentioned verb in a sentence. The effect of the action performed by the subject falls on the subject itself when a reflexive pronoun is used in a sentence.
Example: Rita completed the whole project herself; Mohan cut himself while chopping vegetables.
Common Mistakes and Challenges
Knowing and understanding reciprocal pronouns is not enough to use them correctly in daily life. For that, we must remember certain rules while making the correct choice. Written below are certain mistakes and challenges to avoid for the correct usage and placement of reciprocal pronouns:
- Puzzling reciprocal and reflexive pronouns:
– It is very important to remember the easily confused reciprocal and reflexive pronouns to correctly use them in sentences. Both pronouns refer back to the same subject but imply very different meanings. The effect of a reciprocal pronoun falls mutually over both the subjects whereas that of a reflexive pronoun falls only on the mentioned subject itself.
- Selecting the appropriate reciprocal pronoun:
It is important to remember that ‘each-other’ is only referred to two subjects and ‘one-another’ is referred to more than two subjects in a sentence.
Reciprocal Pronouns in Different Tenses and Verb Forms:
Reciprocal pronouns are not used all the same in different tenses and verb forms. The rules to use reciprocal pronouns in different situations are very different. This can be further understood through the following examples:
- They help each other with their homework.
- The teams participate against each other every year.
- The children played with each other heartily during their summer break.
- The friends shared their secrets with one another.
- They will encourage each other to pursue their dreams.
- The couples plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day with one another.
- The teams are going to compete against each other next week.
- They are constantly encouraging each other to do their best.
- The students have been helping one another with their projects.
- They have always supported each other in times of need.
- The colleagues have praised one another’s accomplishments.
Reciprocal Pronouns in Different Sentence Types:
- They love each other deeply.
- The teams respect one another’s abilities.
- They do not understand each other’s perspectives.
- The siblings never blame one another for their mistakes.
- Do they trust each other?
- Are the students talking to one another about the project?
- Reciprocal pronouns refer to a mutual relationship and a shared connection between two or more than two subjects.
- When two subjects are talked about, we use ‘each other’. For example, the two sisters shared the chocolate with each other.
- When more than two subjects are talked about, we use ‘one-another’. For example, The team members shared the victory with one another.
- Reflexive pronouns, though easily mistaken for reciprocal pronouns, are usually used when the effect of the action mentioned in the sentence falls on the subject itself. In other words, when the subject or the object in a sentence refers back to the subject. For example, Rita looked at herself in the mirror.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Reciprocal pronouns refer to a common or shared action while reflexive pronouns reflect the verb’s action back on the subject.
One should make sure not to use reflexive pronouns as they’re easily confused and remember that ‘each-other’ is only referred to two subjects and ‘one-another’ refers to more than two subjects in a sentence.
The choice of reciprocal pronoun to be used with a particular verb tense form depends on the sentence’s specific context and intended meaning.
Yes, reciprocal pronouns can be used in both formal and informal writing. However, the general tone and decorum of the language must be maintained when writing a formal piece.
There are no rules as such for using reciprocal pronouns in different sentence types. However, the placement of reciprocal pronouns may vary according to different sentence structures.