4

Usually, when there are two things, we say "one", and "the other". However, I came across the following expression:

one twin to another.

Of course, a pair of twins is made up with two people. Therefore, if we say "one" pointing to one of them, the one left should be called "the other", right?

  • 3
    Seeing the entire sentence in context could be helpful. – michael.hor257k Oct 27 '18 at 21:54
10

"One twin to another" could be used by a person who is a twin to another person who is also a twin, but not related to the speaker:

As one twin to another, I understand how you feel. I too have a telepathic bond with my sister.


There is also nothing wrong with using the phrase when speaking of twins of the same pair. Here are some usage examples from Google Books:

This will diminish the competition between the children. Do not display preferential treatment to either child. Though it is natural to switch your preference from one twin to another from time to time, it is important to monitor your approaches.

The issue presented to the Connecticut Superior Court was whether an equity court has the power to permit the natural parents of minor twins to consent for the twins to an anatomical transplant from one twin to another.

.. the pathogenesis is more complex than a net transfer of red blood cells from one twin to another. Indeed, in most monochorionic twin pregnancies with the syndrome, hemoglobin concentrations between the donor and recipient twin ...

Note that all these examples refer to non-specific pairs of twins. The expression "one twin to the other" would more likely be used when discussing a specific, known pair of twins.

  • Thank you very much for your replies! Sorry to be late to respond. Fyi, this was one of the questions in an entrance exam for a leading university in Japan. The whole sentence follows: Nancy Knight took a plane up into the clouds over Wisconsin and found two simple but identical snow crystals,hexagonal prisms, each as like the other, as one twin to ( ) . So, here, the same pair of twins are talked about. You have to choose a word to fill in the blank from (another, one, other, some), the other is not included. – vicky Oct 30 '18 at 1:33
  • As Michael kindly cited the actual examples, we can use both expressions, right? But, why (another) can be used? Considering other situations, apparently it is grammatically wrong, isn't it? If, as is often the case with words, "that is the way it is, " :) then, as natives, which phrase sounds more familiar, more natural? Or, just about the same? Thank you in advance, – vicky Oct 30 '18 at 1:34
  • @vicky It is the same pair of twins, but it is not a specific, known pair of twins. The structure one X to another (a short for of one X to another X) is idiomatic. -- P.S. Please add your clarification above and the full sentence to your question. – michael.hor257k Oct 30 '18 at 4:17

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.