Reciprocal Pronouns: its Definition, Usage, and Examples

Roxana Maria

Reciprocal pronouns are a specific kind that highlights shared actions or relationships between people. In this blog post, we’ll break down what reciprocal pronouns are, how to use them, and provide examples for better clarity.

What are Reciprocal Pronoun?

Reciprocal pronouns are a type of pronoun that emphasizes actions shared between two or more people. They simplify language by replacing repeated individual pronouns, making communication more concise. The main ones in English are “each other” and “one another.”

When to Use Reciprocal Pronouns?

Reciprocal pronouns come into use when a verb involves two or more people doing something to each other. The choice between “each other” and “one another” depends on the number of individuals involved.

Here is a table for better understanding:

Number of IndividualsReciprocal Pronoun
Two individualseach other
More than two individualsone another

Examples of Reciprocal Pronouns:

  • Lisa and Tom hugged each other after the long separation.
  • The friends shared secrets with each other, strengthening their bond.
  • The team members congratulated one another on their collective success.
  • The siblings always supported one another during challenging times.
  • The family members gifted presents to each other during the festive season.
  • The diverse group of colleagues respected one another’s opinions during the meeting.
  • The twins always admired themselves in the mirror.
  • The participants encouraged themselves before the important competition.
  • Did the students help each other in solving the complex math problems?
  • Have the neighbors ever borrowed tools from one another?

Reciprocal Pronouns vs. Reflexive Pronouns:

It’s important to differentiate between reciprocal and reflexive pronouns. Reciprocal pronouns highlight shared actions between different people, while reflexive pronouns emphasize actions an individual performs on themselves.

Reciprocal Pronounseach other, one another
Reflexive Pronounsmyself, yourself, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Reciprocal Pronouns:

Q1: What are reciprocal pronouns, and when should you use them?

Reciprocal pronouns, such as “each other” and “one another,” emphasize shared actions between people. Use “each other” for two individuals and “one another” for more than two. Examples include “Lisa and Tom hugged each other,” highlighting the simplicity they bring to expressing shared experiences. Differentiate them from reflexive pronouns like “myself” and “yourself,” which focus on actions an individual performs on themselves.

Q2: Can reciprocal pronouns be used in all verb tenses?

Yes, reciprocal pronouns can be used with verbs in various tenses. For example, “They have known each other for years” (present perfect) or “They will help one another in the future” (future tense).

Q3: Are there other reciprocal pronouns besides “each other” and “one another”?

In English, “each other” and “one another” are the primary reciprocal pronouns. There are no additional commonly used reciprocal pronouns, though these two cover a wide range of situations.

Q4: Can reciprocal pronouns be used in questions?

Yes, reciprocal pronouns can be used in questions to inquire about mutual actions between individuals. For example, “Did they help each other in the project?”

Q5: Can I use reciprocal pronouns with singular nouns?

Reciprocal pronouns are typically used with plural nouns. However, in informal English, it’s common to use them with singular nouns when the sense of shared action is clear, such as “The couple loves each other dearly.”


Understanding reciprocal pronouns, like “each other” and “one another,” helps convey shared actions effectively in English. Whether it’s a simple interaction between two people or a collective effort in a group, these pronouns enhance communication precision. So, the next time you want to express mutual involvement, use reciprocal pronouns to convey your thoughts clearly.