22 August Thursday

Proficiency in English

Dr. PK JayarajUpdated: Monday Oct 29, 2018

What is a reciprocal pronoun? The term “reciprocate” means to give in return.  A reciprocal pronoun is a pronoun used to identify an action or feeling that is reciprocated or returned.  
   Reciprocal pronouns always refer to more than one person. For example, Anne is waving to Mini and Mini is waving to Anne. So we say: Anne and Mini are waving to each other. The waving is given in return between the two, or is reciprocated.
  There are only two reciprocal pronouns in English, each other and one another. In order to use them there must be two or more people, things, or groups involved and they must be performing the same action. Reciprocal pronouns are easy to use. When you want to refer to two people, you will normally use “each other”.  When referring to more than two people, for example the students in a class, you will normally use “one another”. Examples: The students checked their answers with one another; everybody had a different answer. The playground was full of children spending the afternoon playing with one another.
   There is very little difference between each other and one another and we can normally use them in the same places. Each other is more common than one another. Example: Santhosh and Reena never liked each other. (Santhosh never liked Reena and Reena never liked Santhosh.) Traditionally, each other refers to two people and one another refers to more than two people, but this distinction is disappearing in modern English.
  In the following sentences only two people or things are involved, hence, we use each other. Examples: Dahlia and John gave each other diamond rings on their wedding day. Tim and Jake were talking to each other in the corridor. My parents consult each other whenever there is a major decision to be made. Ron and Tom often write e-mails to each other because they are good friends.
   When three or more people or things were involved, we use one another. Examples: The winners congratulated one another after the results were announced. I think all people should love one another no matter where they live.
   Remembering which pronouns are reciprocal pronouns is easy since there are only two of them! Don’t confuse reciprocal pronouns with reflective pronouns. Reciprocal pronouns can only refer to a plural noun or multiple nouns because the feeling or action has to be shared in the sentence.
  Complete the following sentences using reciprocal pronouns or reflexive pronouns
1.We prepared.........for the long journey ahead.
   a)themselves   b)ourselves   c)each other  d)one another
2.Dahlia and John gave.......diamond rings on their wedding day.
  a)each other  b)one another  c)themselves  d)yourselves
3. The winners congratulated........after the results were announced.
   a)yourselves  b)each other  c)one another  d)itself
4.Tim and Jake were talking to........in the corridor.
   a)themselves   b)ourselves  c)each other  d)one another
5. The playground was full of children spending the afternoon playing with......
  a)one another  b)each other  c)themselves   d)yourselves
6. Does the laptop switch off.......automatically?
   a)each other   b)one another   c)itself   d)yourself
7. My parents consult......whenever there is a major decision to be made.
    a)one another  b)each other  c)himself  d)themselves
8. The students checked their answers with......; everybody had a different answer!
   a)themselves  b)yourselves  c)each other  d)one another
9.My friends enjoyed.......very much at the concert.
  a)themselves  b)yourselves  c)each other  d) one another
10.Adam and Sam were told to help....., instead of competing with each other.
  a)one another   b)yourselves  c)each other  d)himself
11.Peggy and Jane made this delicious cake........
   a)each other   b)themselves  c)one another  d)yourselves
12.Laura and Betty are helping......with their homework.
    a)one another  b)itself  c)yourselves  d)each other
13.Some people only think of .............
    a)themselves  b)each other  c)one another
14.John and his girlfriend are still angry. They are not talking to........
   a) one another b)each other  c)themselves  c)ourselves
15. We promised.........a good holiday next year.
   a)themselves  b)each other  c)ourselves  d)one another
16.Sandra and Angela haven’t met......for a long time.
     a)themselves   b)yourselves  c)one another  d)each other
17.I think all people should love........ no matter where they live.
     a)themselves  b)yourselves  c)one another  d)each other
18.Chris, did you do the maths homework .......?
   a)yourself  b)yourselves  c)each other  d)one another
19.Ron and Tom often write e-mails to..........because they are good friends.
   a)one another  b)each other  c)themselves  d)ourselves
20. My cat and his dog looked at........with dread.
   a)itself  b)one another  c)each other c)one self
    Answers:  1)b, 2)a, 3)c, 4)c,5)a, 6)c, 7)b, 8)d, 9)a, 10)c, 11)b, 12)d, 13)a, 14)b, 15)c, 16)d, 17)c, 18)a, 19)b, 20)c    

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