Grammar Patterns

Pattern combinations

Other verbs with reciprocal meanings

Many verbs not mentioned in this chapter can have a reciprocal meaning. This happens when they are used with a plural Subject and followed by a reciprocal pronoun (each other or one another), as in They hated each other, or by a prepositional phrase containing a reciprocal pronoun, as in They looked at each other. These are not, however, true reciprocal verbs because they cannot be used on their own with a plural Subject, or do not have a reciprocal meaning when they are used like this. For example, you do not say They hated,and if you say They looked, you do not mean that they looked at each other.Verbs which have the patterns V pl-n and V with n, V to n, or V from n have a reciprocal meaning when they are used in the passive. For example, two things can be distinguished, or one thing can be distinguished from another.Some verbs with the pattern V together are similar in meaning to reciprocal verbs, but they are not regarded as true reciprocal verbs because they must be followed by the adverb together when used with a plural Subject (see Chapter 2, Section 3).

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