All Ears English Podcast - 1925: Tricky English Prepositions: Grammar for Each Other vs. One Another

This is an All Ears English podcast episode 1925.

Tricky English prepositions.

Grammar for each other versus one another.

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The words together, each other and one another

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Hey there, Aubrey.

How’s everything going today?

Hi, I’m great, Lindsay.

How’s your morning going?

It’s good.

I’m getting ready for a big trip coming up pretty soon.

So it’s hectic, but it’s good.

It’s good.

Yes, hectic is good, right?

Keep you busy, keep you on your toes,

but sometimes it can be a little much.

Absolutely, absolutely, yeah.

So what are we getting into today?

Well, I have a question for you.

All right, I’m always ready.

We have a great listener question

that we’re going to dive into today,

which we will share with you.

But first I am curious, Lindsay,

what do you think is one way that our listeners

and students can help each other?

One way they can help each other.

Good question.

I think it’s by leaving a review and a rating

for the All Ears English podcast.

Aubrey, why is that?

How does that allow our students to help each other?

Yes, it’s so true, right?

The more listeners we have, the better questions we get,

which makes for better episodes.

And it’s the best way to let other people know

about the podcast, right?

The more the reviews, the more reviews there are,

the more five-star ratings,

the more people find out about the podcast,

which will just increase how many good questions

we have to answer.

Yeah, that’s exactly right.

Maybe another listener has a question that you have too,

but you just don’t think of it, right?

We need many heads here, many minds, many brains together

to send us your questions so we can have fantastic episodes

that we all can all help each other.

So I want to shout out and announce the names

of some reviewers.

And remember, guys, when you review the show

and rate the show, especially when you write

an actual review, you get your name announced on the show.

So thank you to Negar Egebali from Iran.

I can’t read this person’s name,

but a reviewer on October 18th from China.

K. Ryo Riep from the U.S.

T.D. Toupsen from Switzerland,

and Domin S.F. from the U.S.

Aubrey, these are fantastic reviews,

and I just want to say thank you.

Yes, thank you for the reviews, guys,

of All Ears English, of all of our podcasts.

We read them, we’re excited for them.

Leave questions and reviews, we love it.

I love it.

So I’m gonna go ahead and read the student question,

the listener question, so we can dive right in.

Are you ready?

Yes, let’s do it.

Here we go.

Hi, Lindsay and Michelle, you are amazing.

Thank you for your useful and interesting podcast.

I love it.

That’s fantastic.

Can you explain to me what is the difference

between each other and one another?

I’m never sure about it.

Thank you, Vitoria.

I love it.

Such a good question, and actually,

I wonder about that too, Aubrey, as a native speaker.

It’s tricky, right?

I guarantee you this is something native speakers

don’t really think about.

They just know which one sounds right.

They know which one to use,

from hearing English their whole lives,

but it’s not something that we think about, right?

Yes, I hope there’s a clear difference, yeah.

Right, and the question I asked you, right,

what’s a way our listeners can help each other,

I used the first one there, each other,

and this is really interesting to think about

how are they different, how are they interchangeable?

So this will be a great topic to dive into today.

Oh my gosh, let’s just start by talking about each other.

Let’s break down each one and what are the differences,

and when can they actually be interchangeable

for our listeners?

So each other, what’s the vibe?

Yeah, so first of all, it’s a little bit less formal, right?

Both each other and one another express that,

what they mean is that each person in a group

of two or more does something to the others in the group.

So they are similar, they’re often interchangeable,

but we’ll show some phrases to show you

that each other is just a bit less formal

and therefore used more often.

I definitely use this one more often,

what about you, Aubrey?

For sure, yes, there are times where I’ll say one another,

but it is quite a bit more formal,

and the other thing that’s interesting

is each other can be two people or more,

whereas we’ll talk about one another in a moment,

but it’s a little bit different.

Ah, I love it, is there anything else

that we need to know about each other?

Yeah, we’re going to share a couple of examples here

of when we would use each other, especially in business.

This is super useful if you work in English,

you might say, we’re supporting each other on this deal.

For sales, we hear that all the time,

you have the whole sales team supporting each other.

Right, or our listeners and students support each other

in the Facebook groups, we’ve seen that with our courses,

we have a Facebook group for many of our courses,

and you see that every day, right, Aubrey,

that our listeners support each other,

they encourage each other,

they welcome each other to the group.

Yeah, yes, I love it, they can post their questions there,

for each course we have, there’s a Facebook group,

so supportive and active, very, very fun.

I love it.

And how about this, just to say,

they carpool with each other,

this is something I do almost every day,

carpools to different kids’ sports.


I know, because when you have four children,

they’re each in different sports activities,

you have to get the carpools together.

That is a lot of time in the car,

I hope you like your car.

But that’s why you have the carpool,

is so that I don’t have to drive every week, right?

For kids in a carpool,

then I only have to drive one out of four times,

that’s much better.

Actually, that’s really good,

it’s like chunking the work, right?

And so maybe you spend a lot of time that one day,

going to everyone’s houses,

but those other weeks, you do nothing,

you don’t have to, you just get picked,

your kid gets picked up, that must feel amazing.

Make sure your kid has those cleats in their soccer ball

and send them out the door.

So good.

Okay, so that’s the gist of each other.

Now let’s flip to one another.

How’s the difference?

So it’s definitely more formal,

and it’s used to talk about more than two people.

You cannot use it when you’re just talking about two people,

like you can with each other, right?

So that’s interesting that it has to be

more than two people.

And it’s usually for bigger ideas,

like you might hear someone say,

love one another, be kind to one another.

And if you think about it,

it’s usually not talking about one person’s action.

It’s a little more general

about what all people should do.

Okay, so I could have used this too then,

is that right, Aubrey?

When we talked about our listeners leaving reviews

to help one another,

because obviously we have more than two listeners, clearly.

Yes, and that’s where you can see

they’re sometimes interchangeable.

Natives would equally say,

help each other or help one another

by leaving a review.

I hear both all the time, I use both.

Yeah, there’s also, to me,

a certain connotation of harmony

when I hear the phrase one another.

It feels like we’re trying to create

more of a sense of harmony.

It’s a little more like theoretical.

Is that, do you have that too?

Or is that just my weird?

Yeah, no, I think you’re right, exactly.

Because often when we use this one another,

because it has to be more than two people,

we’re thinking often about the larger group, right?

Society in general,

or all of our students together, right?

Whereas often when we use each other,

it is two people or a smaller group,

and so we’re sort of thinking smaller.

Right, like I’m sure that the phrase,

for example, just to drive this idea home,

the phrase one another would be more likely to be used

in like a song from the 70s,

like a John Lennon song or something.

Yes, right?

For sure, we’re talking about peace and harmony.

Yes, for sure.

There’s actually a song I’ve heard

called Love One Another.

Okay, and that might actually be by the Beatles.

I don’t know.

No, it’s not the Beatles.

For example.

But they may have one like that, for sure.

I don’t know why,

but my mind goes to like hippie culture in the 70s

when I hear the phrase one another.

But you might hear it at work too, for sure.

We use this in business English.

You might hear, you know,

if you’re assigning responsibilities for a project

or something, you could say,

consider one another’s strengths

when assigning team responsibilities, right?

And so we do use this sort of in a smaller sense as well.

It is interesting how it does have

that little bit of a connotation of like positivity,

of like, let’s consider one another’s strengths.

Let’s do this the best way we can.

Right, let’s all get along.

Let’s make this work, you know, as a group.

It does have a certain connotation,

a positive connotation.

I love it.

Okay, so then what else do we need to know?

Is there anything we can extend this episode into

to give a little bonus for our listeners?

Yes, as I was preparing this,

a lot of the sentences I was looking at,

I was thinking I actually would say together instead.

So I had to really think about this.

I did the Google deep dive for you guys.

Deep dive, thank you.

Just don’t think about this like we said.

And we often replace with together.

If it’s something we do together,

instead of saying with each other, we’ll say together.

But only in certain contexts, right?

It’s, so let’s go into some of the prepositions

that we use with together instead of with each other

or with one another.

And then we’ll share with you

when we cannot say together instead.

Okay, so we’re giving our listeners a little bonus,

a little extra learning for today.

So guys, this is additional, you know,

and let’s see if we can get it.

Here we go, they carpool together, right?

So when I wrote that example, they carpool with each other,

that’s grammatically accurate.

I wouldn’t say that.

I would say they carpool together, right?

Whether I’m talking about two people or a big group,

we often are going to, it’s a little less formal

and a little more native to say together instead.

Okay, yeah, or they talk together,

which you could also say they talk to each other, right?

Yes, and doesn’t, again, I had that,

I think in the role play,

it was like, they talk to each other.

And then it’s grammatically correct,

but it’s just one of those things

where natives in order to be more informal,

maybe in order to be faster,

we often instead will say they talk together.

Okay, but I also feel like when we just say they talk,

because if it’s just the two of them,

it almost feels a little redundant to me

to say they talk together,

depending on the context, I guess.

Very good point, right?

Depending on the context, we often will drop all of it.

We won’t say each other, we won’t say together.

It’s obvious. It’s implied, right?

They’re talking, they talk, we know who’s there,

so we won’t say either.

That’s a really good point.

Yeah, love it.

What else, what else?

So instead of for each other, we would say like,

they decide together, right?

Instead of they decide for someone, together they decide.

I love it.

Or they throw the ball together,

or this means they throw the ball at each other.

Exactly, right?

So that at each other,

I’m doing something at another person,

often we’ll just say together.

They’re throwing the ball together.

Yeah, or they stand together, meaning next to each other.

Let’s say they go to a parade or a concert or something.

They stand together.

So we could say by, beside, or next to, by each other.

Instead, we often will just say together.

They stand together.

I like it.

I like it.

Is there something else?

Is there a time when we don’t do that?

Yeah, this, we promised this,

that we wanna share when we do not do this, right?

You can’t say together

when it’s not something you do together

with another person, right?

If it’s something you do as an individual.

So for example, care about, think about, love each other

or one another, you can’t say together.

You can’t say we care together, we love together.

So when it’s an action that you do as an individual

or as a group, but not something that you do together,

does that make sense?

Yeah, that’s interesting.

If you use the word together.

Right, because, you know,

I guess it kind of points more to physical position

or having to be in the same space, right?

And love, care for something that happens

in your head emotionally.

Yes, exactly, right?

They’re more metaphorical actions, state of verbs,

these things where we’re not actually doing something.

If it’s a state of being or something

that you really can only do as an individual,

you can’t do it together with another person.

So we wouldn’t say it that way.

I love it.

Aubrey, I think we should jump right into the role play

and save the little bonus for another episode

so that our listeners can make sure

they just master what we’re doing here today.

Okay, so in this role play, you’re a high school teacher.

You’re giving instructions to me, your student,

and I’m working on a group project with other students.

Okay. Often we need

more people for some of these verbs, right?

Sounds like a common situation

for together and each other.

I love it, here we go.

Did you talk to each other to come up with a plan?

Yes, we met up with each other

and figured out a timeline and our theme,

which is showing compassion to one another.

Awesome, you’ll need to brainstorm with each other

again today to divide responsibilities.

Awesome, so we’ve used a few of them here.

Let’s go through to make sure we can understand why, right?


So first, did you talk to each other?

And again, just like you said,

you could say, did you talk to come up with a plan?

Did you talk?

Or did you talk together?

But we would often drop both to save time

and just say, did you talk?

Yeah, I like it, I like it.

And then, let’s see, you said,

we’re coming up with a theme.

We met up with each other.

And how we met up with each other

and figured out a timeline and our theme,

which is showing compassion to one another, right?

Exactly, so we have both here, right?

We met up with each other.

And then, and again, we could just say,

we met up and drop with each other.

I think, yeah.

We might say, you know, just,

we met up and figured out a timeline.

Or we could use together.

We met together and figured out a timeline.

So definitely options, they all mean the same thing.

You’ll hear natives use them all,

but we do often drop.

With each other is implied very often.

I love it.

And then I said, awesome,

you’ll need to brainstorm with each other, right?

Again, today, to divide responsibilities.

So that basically means,

or you could have said,

you’ll need to brainstorm together.

Yes, and again, you could just drop it, right?

You’ll need to brainstorm today, da-da-da, right?

Because it’s implied that you will,

that’s something you will do with each other or together.

It’d be really interesting

just for a little cultural insight today

to take transcripts of everyday life.

If we could somehow get, you know,

for example, in the U.S. versus let’s say Japan,

another country where maybe values are more

towards the group versus the individual.

And if we could pull out the amount of,

the amount of together words

that we use in English in our daily lives

versus in a country like Japan or somewhere else

that values that collective space.

That would be fascinating.


It would be a quantitative study of all the times people say

together or each other words,

phrases like this in different languages.

Love it.

I would love to read that.


So if we have any sociolinguists

or anyone who’s involved in cultural anthropology,

linguistic anthropology,

if you want to go do that study,

we will interview you on All Ears English.

That’s the kind of thing we love.

I love it.

Good stuff.

And I also just want to note sometimes in English,

we just say together,

like for example, at a sporting event

or someone as an orchestra, right?

If someone’s together, all together now,

we just use the word together

as kind of something we shout out, right?

Meaning everyone all at once.

Everyone at the same time,

we’ll just say together or together now.

Love it.

All right, Aubrey, what’s the takeaway for a listener?

We covered a lot,

but we focused in really clearly on just a few things here.

Yes, for sure.

And this vocabulary, each other, one another,

it is extremely useful,

both in regular conversations and in business English.

It’s really interesting to think about this

and know when you can drop it,

when they’re interchangeable, right?

Whether you’re working with others on a project

or chatting with friends,

knowing how to use these will definitely come in handy.

Yeah, for sure.

And if you guys are working

in a multinational global workplace,

and you know you have colleagues

from other parts of the world,

especially if you know maybe from cultures that value

this coming together more than maybe your culture does,

try throwing these words in more often and see what happens.

That might help you build the rapport.

This is the level we have to be at

if we’re gonna be global professionals.

Right, Aubrey?

Yes, definitely.

That is the best way to build that network, right?

That network that you need

to be a successful business professional.

I love it.

So good, so thoughtful and interesting.

I love it.

All right, Aubrey, I’ll see you in the next one.

Have a good one.

Thanks, Lindsay.

Bye-bye. Bye.

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