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Usually "each" is used to refer to every member in the group, so it is followed by a singular verb like:

Each student and teacher knows that exams are.....

Each of the buildings is surrounded by high metal fencing.

Now I am not sure how the first sentence in the following examples is wrong.

Wrong: They understand the personality of each of their children

Correct: They understand the personalities of each of their children

Wrong: There were four rooms, each with a wonderful view of the garden

Correct: There were four rooms, each with wonderful views of the garden. This example was copied from Cambridge dictionary

Would you please explain it to me?

  • Who says those answers were wrong? (Give the source). – Michael Harvey Jul 19 at 19:26
  • @MichaelHarvey Some examples are copied from Cambridge and all started when a British teacher told me "personalities" not personality! – Costa Jul 19 at 19:35
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+100

Wrong: They understand the personality of each of their children

Not wrong.

Correct: They understand the personalities of each of their children

Wrong, in the most commonplace sense. It implies the children are schizophrenic.

Wrong: There were four rooms, each with a wonderful view of the garden

Not wrong.

Correct: There were four rooms, each with wonderful views of the garden.

Correct, since a room can have many wonderful views.

The word "each" acts as a singular. So "each student has a notebook". There is a one-to-one correspondence, you shouldn't say "notebooks" simply because there are multiple students.

  • 1
    I'm unsure what a grammarian would say, but as a native speaker, I agree with this, as otherwise you end up with ambiguous terms as @Sam says. Do the children have multiple personalities? (No) Are there multiple views of the garden from each room? (No). It would only be personalities if you omitted the each :- They understand the personalities of their children. – Smock Jul 29 at 10:22
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Reference Cambridge E.D.enter link description here Each or every? We use each to refer to individual things in a group or a list of two or more things. It is often similar in meaning to every.

Plurals! The combination of Plurals and singular in each sentence.

Each student and teacher knows that exams are..... Singular + Singular

Each of the buildings is surrounded by high metal fencing. Plural + Plural However this can be split down as each individual building in the group has a fence. Note Fencing is a noun meaning Fences enter link description here

Wrong: They understand the personality of their children Plural + Singular This cannot be split down as each child has its own personality. The personality is not common to the group.

Correct: They understand the personalities of each of their children Plural + Plural This can be split down as each child has its own personality

Wrong: There were four rooms, each with a wonderful view of the garden Plural + Singular This cannot be split down as each room has its own unique view, not a common view.

Correct: There were four rooms, each with wonderful views of the garden. Plural + Plural This can be split down as each room has its own view.

  • Thanks, It makes a sense for me, but I need more references because native English speakers disagree with each other about this. I need official link from Cambridge or something that include your analysis. – Costa Jul 27 at 7:39
  • I have Edited the Answer to include the Link – Brad Jul 27 at 7:51
  • @Brad , you have written "Each of the buildings is surrounded by high metal fencing. Plural + Plural" . This is slightly unclear, because fencing is not a standard plural. Usually plurals end with an -s (cars, boats, sandwiches, etc). Right? It would be helpful to demonstrate the point with regular plurals - for example, would you say that "Each of the buildings is surrounded by high metal fences" is correct? – Sam Jul 27 at 13:57
  • Well yes of course. but you cannot do that because it says fencing, not fences. However fencing is a noun fencing noun [ U ] UK ​ /ˈfen.sɪŋ/ US ​ /ˈfen.sɪŋ/ fencing noun [ U ] (STRUCTURE) ​fences, or the materials used to make fences: I will edit my answer. – Brad Jul 27 at 14:21
  • I find this answer confusing. personalities of each of their children reads as each of their children has personalities to me, sounding like each child has multiple personalities. They understand the personalities of their children would be correct without the each as then you really do have plural+plural – Smock Jul 29 at 10:35

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