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Let's say I have 2 sets of twins and I grab 1 twin from each set. If these 2 non-related twins introduced themselves both as being twins but not being related to each other, how would they say that?

Would they say "we're twins, but not...

  • to each other
  • with each other
  • ...something else??

Obviously, they could say that "we're twins but we're not related." But I'm wondering more about preposition choice in this case, so please address that aspect of the question.

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    My guess is to would be more common than with. But so would of, and I think only an extreme pedant would think such usages are covered by an unambiguous "rule". – FumbleFingers Feb 3 '17 at 17:28
  • @YosefBaskin yes exactly. This is for a comedic script. The two people introduce themselves as twins, but then reveal that they are not related but rather each have their own non-present twin – theforestecologist Feb 3 '17 at 17:29
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    According to Ngrams, frequency "twins to > of > with each other". But that's not a good measure either. – NVZ Feb 3 '17 at 17:42
  • Depending on your target audience, (not) consanguineous or coeval might qualify as amusing/quirky alternatives. – FumbleFingers Feb 3 '17 at 18:01
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    I'd choose "something else" and say "we're both twins" but seeing how "each" was rejected I suppose that isn't what you're after. – Tom22 Feb 3 '17 at 21:12
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Words of duplication (twin, duplicate, replica) as well as words of kinship (parent, sibling, cousin) almost always take of. Occasionally, you see to, but that's for a poetic or archaic feel.

My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.

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    I never thought of it earlier, but you're quite right that to in such contexts has significant "poetic, archaic" associations. Plus it's nearly always of with "duplicate" relationships (copy, reproduction, clone, imitation, etc.). – FumbleFingers Feb 3 '17 at 18:13
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    -1 The answer is baseless. – Arm the good guys in America Feb 4 '17 at 4:38
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If you must go with a preposition, I think it's a tossup between "to" and "of."
"We are twins, but not to/of each other."

However, consider some completely different alternatives.

"We are twins, but we are not each other's twins."
(Not quite grammatically correct, but gets the point across)

"We are twins, but we aren't twins."
(Comedic and intentionally confusing)

"We are two twins but not a twinned twosome."
"We are a pair of twins but not a twinned pair."
(Accurate, can be start of further wordplay)

"I'm a twin, and he's a twin, but we aren't twins."
"I'm a twin, and he's a twin, but our twins are in another room/country/screenplay."

[Also, consider familiarizing yourself with other great works in twin comedy such as "The Boys from Syracuse."]

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In this case, I would go with

We're each twins

The "each" further qualifies the [lack of] relationship that the two have between themselves and their counterparts.

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    This doesn't really address the question – theforestecologist Feb 3 '17 at 19:39
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    how so? it negates the need to even have to say "but not to/with each other" – dfperry Feb 3 '17 at 19:40
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    The question is not how to better say the statement (in fact, I provided an example myself). The main question is which preposition is appropriate to use given the sentence structure provided. Thanks. – theforestecologist Feb 3 '17 at 19:42
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    your question was how to convey that they were twins, but not to each other. you even had option 3 as "something else??". I'd say my answer is completely valid. – dfperry Feb 3 '17 at 19:44
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Although the poetic "to" sounds appealing in its way, for everyday speech I would use "with," as it is similar to

I am friends with that dude.

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