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I have seen a statement:

  • We have a Christian duty to serve each other.

Is this statement correct?

Because 'each other' is used for two persons and 'one another' for more than two persons.

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    It’s grammatical. Whether it is correct depends on the intention of the speaker etc.
    – Lawrence
    May 20 '20 at 4:42
  • Does this answer your question? "Each other" vs. "one another". saying "Because 'each other' is used for two persons and 'one another' for more than two persons." is prejudging the issue. It's a statement that needs a supporting reference, linked and attributed. And many consider it untrue. May 20 '20 at 13:59
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"We have a christian duty to serve each other. Is this statement correct**?** Because each other is used for two persons and one another for more than two persons.

This seems to be an invented "rule" that has no basis in fact.

The OED gives "each other" as synonymous with "one another" and remarks:

each other pron. used as a reciprocal pronoun (as object and in the genitive) = one another. … Some commentators on usage restrict each other to two parties and one another to more than two, but such a distinction is seldom found in actual use.

My emphasis

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This seems linked to the concept of "clusivity", which is missing from English.

Broadly speaking it is the distinction of whether the speaker and/or the addressee are included in the group referred to by "we".

So, if "we" is meant to include the speaker and adressee, "each other" seems appropriate. If "we" is meant to exclude the speaker, the adressee or both, "each other" would be lacking the "other".

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  • So, if "we" is meant to include the speaker and adressee, that's 2 or more in the group. If 'we' is used as a synonym for 'one', or more realistically 'each Christian', that's many. This answer fails to address the question (and unhelpful claim), "Is this statement correct? ... Because 'each other' is used for two persons and 'one another' for more than two persons." /// You probably mean 'So, if "we" is meant to include the speaker and adressee only, ...' A possibility, and then OP's question wouldn't arise. But the 'complete implied set [of all Christians]' reading is more likely. May 20 '20 at 14:59
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It's correct in a conversation between two people. When addressing two or more people, use the phrase 'one another'.

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  • supporting reference? any argument at all? just your gut feel?
    – DW256
    May 20 '20 at 14:32

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