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My question is about the expression 'in turn'.

As in, "Some teenagers talked, laughed and whispered in turn."

Does this imply that the teenagers talked, laughed and whispered together and then began talking again, and so on, or that each teenager took it in turns talking, laughing and whispering?

For extra credit, how might you articulate both meanings more effectively?

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  • The wording sounds awkward, but it supports either interpretation - or even that they only took turns when it came to whispering.
    – Lawrence
    Jan 26 '20 at 0:05
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You use the expression in turn for events that are the result of or are connected to previous events:

You use in turn to refer to actions or events that are in a sequence one after the other, for example because one causes the other.

  • One of the team members leaked the story to a colleague who, in turn, told a reporter.

(Collins)

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