Using apostrophes has always seemed like one of those rules that’s difficult to wrap your head around, but don’t worry, we’re here to help! If you’ve struggled to understand apostrophes in the term “each other,” then you’ve come to the right place, and we’re going to help you figure it out with some simple tips.
Each Others, Each Other’s Or Each Others’ – What Is The Difference?
“Each others” is used when you’re referring to the plural form of “each other.” However, there is no plural form of “each other,” so “each others” is actually an incorrect term that can’t be used. “Each other’s” is used when you refer to the singular possessive form of “each other,” which we’ll touch more on later. “Each others'” is used when you need the plural possessive form of “each other.” Again, though, this is impossible.
So, what makes it impossible to have a plural of “each other?” Surely you’re referring to two people when you’re saying that, after all, and plural would make sense. Well, it all comes down to a simple rule in the English language. When you use the word “each,” you’re referring to a selection of things or objects. Since you’re already referring to a collection of things, you can’t follow “each” with a plural.
If you’re still confused, think about using “each” in a sentence. You wouldn’t say, “each people walked that way.” You’d instead need to say, “each person walked that way.” Or, if you need a more obvious plural to help you, then saying “each animals were accounted for” is wrong. You want to say, “each animal is accounted for.” Does that make a little more sense now?
Since we can’t use the plural form of “other” after we’ve already said “each,” that pretty much shows us that we can’t ever use “each others” or “each others'” in a sentence. There is only one true way to add an “s” to the end of “each other,” and that’s when you’re referring to the singular possessive form of the word.
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4 Examples Of How To Use “Each Others”
As we’ve said before, there is no plural form of “each other.” Therefore, we can’t provide you with any examples, as they would all be wrong.
4 Examples Of How To Use “Each Other’s”
It is possible to have examples of “each other’s” in use, though. Why? Because it’s the singular possessive form of the noun. While “each other” technically already refers to multiple people or things, it is considered a singular noun. You can therefore use it to refer to multiple things being in possession of something.
- We didn’t see each other’s faces.
There are actually two ways that you could say the sentence above. You don’t have to refer to “faces” in the plural form as we have, but it is widely accepted as the more suitable way to say it. For example, saying “we didn’t see each other’s face,” makes just as much sense (and is also more logical grammatically), but we don’t often say that sentence when we use the phrase, so we don’t need to worry about it.
- We love each other’s parents very much.
Again, we see that “parents” are kept in the plural form here, after saying “each other’s.” If you’re still pondering how any of this makes sense, remember that “each other” turns into the possessive form because it is “possessing” the “parents” (who are the objects in the sentence).
- We couldn’t be more like each other’s dream partner.
Hopefully, you’re picking up the rules that we’re putting down now! “Dream” is the object, and “each other’s” is the possessive form.
- We have each other’s wallets.
4 Examples Of How To Use “Each Others'”
Again, we can’t use the plural form of “each other,” as it simply doesn’t exist. Therefore, we can’t give you examples of saying “each others’.”
Does The Rule Also Apply To Others’ Or Other’s (Without Each)?
Now, let’s take a brief look into the rule and how it applies to “other.” When you don’t include “each,” the rule does, in fact, change. Since you’re not allowed to use plurals after saying “each,” that rule is thrown out of the window when you remove it. Therefore, saying “others” or “others'” is perfectly okay in English and works to talk about the plural form or the plural possessive form.
We’ll take a look at a couple of examples if you need a bit of extra help. Just remember that the rule differs here because “each” no longer adds its own rule. Instead, “other” is left to express itself in the plural form freely, and if you’re referring to multiple “others,” then the plural form is exactly what you need.
- We’re waiting for the others.
- The others should be here shortly.
- You should see the others’ cats. They’re evil!
- You have to consider others’ opinions.
Here, we can see “other” used in the plural possessive form. In the first one, “cats” are the object, and multiple “others” possess them. In the second one, “opinions” are the object, and multiple “others” possess them.
- We should meet each other’s family.
- We need to be each other’s best friends.
It’s most common to use “other’s” when you use the whole word “each other’s,” which is why we’ve included these examples.
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Quiz – Each Others, Each Other’s Or Each Others’?
Let’s finish up with a quick quiz. Hopefully, this one will be straightforward for you if you’ve been reading it carefully! There’s a big clue in the article that’ll help you get these answers right with no problems! However, if you haven’t been paying close attention, you might be out of luck.
- We saw (A. each others / B. each other’s / C. each others’) faces.
- We met (A. each others / B. each other’s / C. each others’) parents.
- We love (A. each others / B. each other’s / C. each others’) dogs.
- We knew (A. each others / B. each other’s / C. each others’) siblings.
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Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.