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The case came to light when both families filed criminal charges with police accusing the other family's son of rape.

The case came to light when both families filed criminal charges with police accusing each other family's son of rape.

The first sentence was excerpted from a news article. It seems to me that the former sentence imply there could be other family involved whereas the latter one is limited between two families. Why should it use 'the other' rather than 'each other' in that sentence of the news article?

  • "News" is a plural noun with no singular form, like clothes. We can never say "a news" in English. – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Jul 29 '17 at 18:13
  • Isn't news an uncountable noun (singular) with a plural form ? – user242899 Jul 29 '17 at 18:20
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    Your correction is worse than the original! To use each in the sentence, try: "The case came to light when both families filed criminal charges with police, each accusing the other family's son of rape." – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Jul 29 '17 at 18:21
  • The original is awkward; but the use of both families as plural subject in effect 'pre-empts' the use of each, which takes the families singly. – StoneyB on hiatus Jul 29 '17 at 18:25
  • "News" is plural in form but singular in construction. It's a plurale tantum, like clothes. We don't say "a news" any more than we say "a clothes" or "a trousers". – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Jul 29 '17 at 18:26
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The case came to light when both families filed criminal charges with police accusing the other family's son of rape.

is correct. Using "the other" is limited to "both families" already mentioned. One accuses "the other" without any third party.

If there were a third party, then you would need:

The case came to light when both families filed criminal charges with police accusing another family's son of rape.

The example using each other:

The case came to light when both families filed criminal charges with police accusing each other family's son of rape.

is overly wordy and frankly doesn't read well. A more appropriate usage of each other might be:

The case came to light when both families filed criminal charges with police accusing each other of lying about what happened.

Basically, don't use each other as a modifier.

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  • thanks. May i ask why can't it be used as modifier? – user239460 Jul 31 '17 at 5:20

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