Using Each Other's in English

The English language is constantly changing. Punctuation is a convention, not a law, and changes as communication needs and preferences change. Bit by bit, sometimes over the years, sometimes over decades or even centuries, punctuation standards change. Language use, including punctuation changes over time. It took centuries for the punctuation marks we use today — and the rules we have now about how to use them — to be invented and adopted.

 

Apostrophes (‘) may cause plenty of troubles even for native English speakers. Try to keep in mind couple of rules and you will understand that they aren’t hard to acquire.

A lot of people who learn of English, as well as native speakers, face problems with apostrophes and today we will explain you the distinction between such word combinations as each others – each other’s – each others’.

Apostrophes in English carry out two primary functions:

  • show possession,

  • to indicate that a letter has been dropped (It is placed where the missing letter would be in that case)

 

People, even native English speakers, often mistake its and it's, you're and your, who's and whose, and they're, their and there.

Many people aren’t sure how to form the possessive — is it each other’s or each others’? And should a singular or plural noun follow the possessive form?

 

The possessive pattern ('s) is generally used when we need to indicate a relation of ownership or association with a person, rather than a thing.

These word combinations each other’s and each others’ look almost the same with only one difference in the location of the apostrophe. Today we will show you the difference and you will learn which of them is right.

Taken literally, the phrase each other does seem limited to two entities only, represented by the singular each and the singular other.

 

Many people have difficulties with using the apostrophe correctly.

Each other - used to refer to each member of a group when each does something to or for other members.

they communicate with each other in Polish’

 

Firstly, we need to take a look at the word “each.” We understand at once that we mean one of the following: a one subject or person, a group of things, or people that can be considered as a unit. In the case of “each other”, “other” is in the singular because it follows “each”— we wouldn’t say “each workers” instead of “each worker”.

 

That’s the rule we need to follow that we use singular after “each”. To make a noun possessive we add apostrophe + s. If the noun ends in s, or it is plural, we add an apostrophe after the s.

 

  • My sister and I tell each other all news.

  • My roommate and I always borrow each other’s jackets because we’re the same size.

 

This can be confusing for students because the rule for possessives is usually ’s for singular count and non-count nouns and s’ for plural count nouns. Remember that each other is treated as a singular pronoun and emphasizes two or more separate people.

To make it more clearly, we cannot use a plural form of the word after “each.” As soon as you see the word “each,” the word that follows it should be in its singular form.

"Each other" shows that we mean two people, but the "each" shows that we take them one at a time.

For instance “Jane and Ann promised to love each other forever.

Peter and Paul admire each other.

We need to take care of each other’s wellbeing above all else.”

We hope you find this article helpful. Keep in mind and follow this clear rule and you’ll never make a mistake.