Which one is correct:
- They each tells a story.
- They each tell a story.
Does "each" change the plural form of the verb? Thanks.
When each is used as a pronoun, it is always singular:
Each of my children tells a story.
However, here, it looks like each is an adverb that modifies tell:
They each tell a story.
They tell one story each.
This makes it clear that each person tells a story. Without each, maybe they are telling one story as a group. Consider the difference between the two sentences:
The students line up on the stage, and they sing a song.
The students line up on the stage, and they each sing a song.
In the first case, we get one song. In the second case, we get many songs (one song per student).
Some people might argue that this use of each is grammatically an adjective modifying they, indicating that each member of the subject ("they") should be considered separately. I'm not sure if an adjective can supply that kind of semantic meaning to a sentence, though. Consider the word together, when used an adverb:
They sing a song together.
It is very clear to me that together does not modify they as an adjective; it modifies sing as an adverb. It makes sense to me that the opposite sentence uses each an adverb as well. However, I might be wrong and welcome clarification from a more knowledgeable grammarian.