1. singular or plural.
Each is treated as singular when it stands by itself as a pronoun, when it comes before a singular noun (each house), and when it is followed by of and a plural noun (each of the houses):

• Each group is responsible for its own quality control —A. Francis, 1986

• Each of the two key fobs has its own snap fastening —Sunday Express, 1981

• Almost all accidents start with a simple error on the part of the pilot that leads to a chain of events, each of which makes the situation worse —D. Piggott, 1991

• What the treaty did not do was to make the two kingdoms of France and England one; they were to remain separate, each with its own legal and administrative identity —C. Allmand, 1991.

When each follows and qualifies a plural noun or pronoun, it is treated as a plural since it is the noun or pronoun and not each that determines the singular or plural status of the sentence:

• They each carry several newspapers, a whole crop of the day's papers and the Sundays —Tom Stoppard, 1976

• In the last four beats of the third bar…the voices each have slight differences in note-lengths and the placing of syllables —R. Brindle Smith, 1986.

2. each and every.
This is regarded as a cliché and is best reserved for special effect as in Sylvia Plath's allegory of the fig-tree representing life:

• I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest —The Bell Jar, 1963.

3. each other.
The belief that each other refers to two people or things and one another to more than two is a superstition already rejected by Fowler (1926). Historical usage shows that there is no basis for such a restriction, and many contrary examples can be found from good writers: (each other referring to more than two)

• We took off in a motorcade traveling at a speed of close to 100 miles per hour with cars tailgating each other —Henry Kissinger, 1982

• Everybody knew each other or about each other —Anita Brookner, 1983

• I sit in one of the smaller theatres at the Young Vic and watch Brecht's characters driving each other into action through the coherence and confidence of their belief and argument —Observer, 2007

• (one another referring to two) He and Gussy were evidently very fond of one another —A. N. Wilson, 1978

• There is no such thing as complete harmony between two people, however much they profess to love one another —Nadine Gordimer, 1987

• We saw one another at weekends but this put a strain on the relationship —Sun, 2007.

4. For the differences between each and every, see every.

Modern English usage. 2014.

(of two), , (archaic and poetical), , , / (of several),

Look at other dictionaries:

  • each — W1S1 [i:tʃ] determiner, pron, adv [: Old English; Origin: Alc] 1.) every one of two or more things or people, considered separately →↑every ▪ She had a bottle in each hand. ▪ Grill the fish for five minutes on each side. ▪ Each member of the team …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • each — [ itʃ ] function word, quantifier *** Each can be used in the following ways: as a determiner (followed by a singular countable noun): in each corner of the room as a pronoun: three windows, with a different view from each (followed by of ): I… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Each — ([=e]ch), a. or a. pron. [OE. eche, [ae]lc, elk, ilk, AS. [ae]lc; [=a] always + gel[=i]c like; akin to OD. iegelik, OHG. [=e]ogil[=i]h, MHG. iegel[=i]ch, G. jeglich. [root]209. See 3d {Aye}, {Like}, and cf. {Either}, {Every}, {Ilk}.] 1. Every one …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • each — adj every, *all each adv Each, apiece, severally, individually, respectivelyare comparable when they refer to every one of the many or several persons or things comprising a group. All imply distribution. Each and apiece usually connote equality… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • each — [ēch] adj., pron. [ME ech, elc, each, every < OE ælc < * agilic, akin to OHG iogilith (Ger jeglich) < PGmc * aiw galic: see AYE1 & ALIKE] every one of two or more considered separately [each (one) of you will be notified] adv. apiece… …   English World dictionary

  • each — [adj] every all, any, exclusive, individual, one by one*, particular, personal, piece by piece*, respective, separate, several, single, specific, various, without exception; concept 577 Ant. none each [adv] apiece; for one all, a pop*, a shot*,… …   New thesaurus

  • each — O.E. ælc any, all, every, each (one), short for a gelic ever alike, from a ever (see AYE (Cf. aye) (2)) + gelic alike (see LIKE (Cf. like) (adj.)). From a common West Germanic expression *aiwo galika (Cf. Du. elk, O.Fris …   Etymology dictionary

  • each — ► DETERMINER & PRONOUN ▪ every one of two or more people or things, regarded and identified separately. ► ADVERB ▪ to, for, or by every one of a group. ● each and every Cf. ↑each and every ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • EACH — is an acronym that may refer to: *European Association for Communication in Healthcare *Educational Action Challenging Homophobia *European Association for sick Children in Hospitals …   Wikipedia

  • each — index respectively Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

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