In one of my posts ("commonly used" vs "sound natural" and "is idiomatic") I said

Obviously, idiomatic and natural are synonyms each other.

In my native language, "each other" is for emphasizing in this kind of situation. However, I am not sure whether it conveys that information in English. So, I looked up Cambridge Dictionary, and got this example

The words "small" and "little" are synonyms.

So, is "are synonyms each other" a bit wordy?

1 Answer 1


'Are synonyms each other' is wordy as well as incorrect.

You could say 'small and little are synonyms of each other'. However, if you think it's wordy, you could also say 'small and little are synonymous'.

'Idiomatic and natural are synonyms of each other' -> 'idiomatic and natural are synonymous' -> 'idiomatic and natural are synonyms'.

I haven't seen 'each other' used to emphasise this kind of situations (as P.E says 'of each other' is redundant).

  • 1
    Thank you. Did you notice the example from Cambridge Dictionary?
    – WXJ96163
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 9:34
  • No. Where's it?
    – Void
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 9:55
  • My second example.
    – WXJ96163
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 9:56
  • 'Small' and 'little' are synonymous. However, you cannot use them interchangeably in every situation. Which one to use depends on the context.
    – Void
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 11:37
  • What I meant is "synonymous" and "synonyms", your example uses the former while the example from Cambridge Dictionary uses the latter.
    – WXJ96163
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 11:40

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