English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Possible Duplicate:
'Each' with plural or singular verb

Is the use of have after each grammatical here?

Believe it or not, farther and further each have distinctly different meanings although people tend to use them interchangeably.

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by RegDwigнt Jun 5 '12 at 10:04

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

In this sentence, I believe have refers to "farther and further", not "each", so the tense is correct. "Each" is an optional word in that helps accentuate the difference between the two similar words. – J.R. Jun 5 '12 at 10:00
@J.R.- If I say: Mike and Jim each has a car. Is has ungrammatical here? – Noah Jun 5 '12 at 10:06
@Noah Yes, that would be incorrect grammer. See my answer for explanation. – Dougvj Jun 5 '12 at 10:07
@regdwight-b8- Thanks! – Noah Jun 5 '12 at 10:11
Hmm, I don't know if I can remember anyone thanking @RegDwight for closing their question before. +1 on the comment, for cordiality. – J.R. Jun 5 '12 at 10:18

That is correct grammar. There are three forms of the word each:

  1. A pronoun:

    Each has distinctly different...

  2. An adjective:

    Each word has distinctly different...

  3. An adverb:

    The words each have distinctly different...

In this case, each is an adverb meaning "apart" or "apiece". The word could be replaced with the adverb separately and it would carry a nearly identical meaning:

... farther and further separately have distinctly different...

Therefore, the use of the verb form have is correct, since "farther and further" form the subject, which is plural.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.