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In this sentence, should the last word be "life" or " lives"?

(Imagine two children brought up by the wrong parents to make this sentence make sense!)

They had had each other's life/lives.

Many thanks for a definitive answer!

  • Each and other can be split, precisely for situations like this: They each had had the other's life. Definitely singular with this construction. – John Lawler Jan 20 at 23:02
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The "other" of "each" of them can only have one life. So, as terrible as it sounds, "life" is right.

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