each

each
   is not always an easy word, even for the authorities. Here are William and Mary Morris writing in The Harper Dictionary of Contemporary Usage: "Each of the variants indicated in boldface type count as an entry." Make it counts. As the Morrises doubtless knew but failed to note, when each is the subject of a sentence, the verb should be singular.
   A plural verb is correct when the sentence has another subject and each is a mere adjunct. Again we can cite an error made by an authority, in this case Philip Howard in The State of the Language: "The separate genres of journalism each creates its own jargon, as any specialized subject or activity always does." It should be "each create their own jargon." Genres is the subject of that sentence, so the verb must respond to it.
   Deciding whether to use a singular or plural verb is not as difficult as it may at first seem. In fact, the rule could hardly be more straightforward. When each precedes the noun or pronoun to which it refers, the verb should be singular: "Each of us was . . ." When it follows the noun or pronoun, the verb should be plural: "We each were . . ."
   Each not only influences the number of the verb, it also influences the number of later nouns and pronouns. In simpler terms, if each precedes the verb, subsequent nouns and pronouns should be plural (e.g., "They each are subject to sentences of five years"), but if each follows the verb, the subsequent nouns and pronouns should be singular ("They are each subject to a sentence of five years").

Dictionary of troublesome word. . 2013.

Synonyms:
(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 — 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 …   Modern English usage

  • 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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