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Good day, people. The question aims to elucidate the correct position of "EACH" in relation to the following sentences:

What is the correct order?

They have each won University Challenge on four occasions - more than any other institution. (sounds fine to me)

They each have won University Challenge on four occasions - more than any other institution.

Also

"The houses were each cleaned." (sounds fine to me)

"The houses each were cleaned."

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    The last two are oddities. One expects something after "each cleaned": The houses were each cleaned with an industrial vacuum.
    – Lambie
    Sep 21, 2022 at 17:40
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    "Each" is a quantificational adjunct functioning in clause structure. This is evident from the fact that when the verb is an auxiliary it preferentially follows rather than precedes it, as in your examples 1. and 3.
    – BillJ
    Sep 21, 2022 at 18:00
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    We all were chosen and They each were rewarded are "poetic, literary" resequenced versions of the idiomatically standard We were all chosen and They were each rewarded. Sep 21, 2022 at 18:11

2 Answers 2

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[1] They have each won University Challenge on four occasions - more than any other institution.

[2] They each have won University Challenge on four occasions - more than any other institution.

[3] The houses were each cleaned.

[4] The houses each were cleaned.

Here, "each" is a quantificational adjunct functioning in clause structure. This is evident from the fact that when the verb is an auxiliary it preferentially follows rather than precedes it, as in [1] and [3].

The same applies to "all" and "both". For example, We had both/all enjoyed it is preferable to We both/all had enjoyed it.

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  • Great answer, BillJ! It's a little clearer now. Thanks Sep 21, 2022 at 19:37
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Your first sentence is the correct one. As for the last two, Each of the houses was cleaned or Each house was cleaned would be more natural.

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    Actually, I'd remove a point for 3 or 4 in an essay unless it were something like: The houses were each cleaned with a large sponge. [haha]
    – Lambie
    Sep 21, 2022 at 17:40
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    I see nothing wrong with the second sentence.
    – Martha
    Sep 21, 2022 at 17:53
  • @Lambie You're too tough, man! ahaha. Thank you all. Sep 21, 2022 at 19:39
  • @Lambie Why can't I say "The houses were each cleaned." by itself? But: "The houses were each cleaned with a large sponge." Unfortunately it's not very clear to me. Sep 21, 2022 at 19:47
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    You can say it but as I said the ear expects something after it. Because normally one would say: Each house was cleaned or each of the houses was cleaned. What I wrote exemplifies the expectation I am explaining. The dogs were each fed a bowl of dry food. The boys were each given a piece of paper. The houses were each cleaned with an industrial vacuum. Would you normally: As cases se limparam cada uma? Same idea here.
    – Lambie
    Sep 21, 2022 at 20:47

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