0

I have difficulties in using each. Which would be correct in the following sentences?

  1. They are each connected to a hydrogen atom/hydrogen atoms.
  2. They each are connected to a hydrogen atom/hydrogen atoms.
  3. They are connected to each hydrogen atom/atoms. [Assuming that each of them is connected to one H atom.]
  4. We each have our own car/cars. [Assuming that each of us has one car.]
1

Consider a molecule of ethane, C2H6. Let's talk about the carbon atoms:

  1. They are each connected to a hydrogen atom.

This is true, but misleading because actually

  1. They are each connected to three hydrogen atoms.

There is no difference between "They are each" and "they each are"; web and book searches find that the former is much preferred.

Still talking about the carbon atoms:

  1. They are connected to each hydrogen atom.

Nothing wrong grammatically, but it's' not true. This means that the carbon atoms are connected to each and every one of the six hydrogen atoms, but each carbon is connected to only three of the hydrogen atoms. "Each hydrogen atoms" is wrong because "each" means "each one" and must modify a singular noun.

  1. We each have own own car. We each have our own cars.

The first means one car a piece. The second will probably be interpreted the same way (two of us times one car a piece equals two cars). But there is the possibility that one or both of you have more than one car. This makes the following sound a bit odd:

  1. We each have our own noses.
  • How about "each is connected..,"? . . . sounds better to me (:-) – Brian Hitchcock Aug 1 '15 at 8:21
0

Thank you very much! So, now I summarize it as followings:

They are each connected to [plural verb "are"] a hydrogen atom [singular noun].

We each have [plural verb]... own nose[singular noun].

By the way, "We each have our own car" came from Oxfor dictionary, which was quite confusing to me.

And, "each" of #3 becomes each and every: -this is very useful tip for me to determine which expression to select in chemical writings. Many thanks!

  • I'll tell you a trick for this kind of posting. You can click on the word "edit" under your question, and add thoughts like these at the bottom of your question. There's even a symbol in the editor that you can click on to put a dividing line in between the original question and your new thoughts. – aparente001 Aug 2 '15 at 2:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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