1

Example:

The A-League is a national competition with 10 teams, including 9 from around Australia and 1 from New Zealand. There are two teams from each of Sydney and Melbourne and one team from each of Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Newcastle and the Central Coast of New South Wales. Finally, there is a team from New Zealand, being Wellington Phoenix. The regular season games are played in the Australian summer, from October to April, when each team plays each other team 3 times.

Obviously, all this means is that all the soccer teams in the Australian soccer league are from their respective places. But why not just simply say there are two teams from Sydney and Melbourne? What's the implication of using each of in this particular case? As for the second example, the use of each of can be, I guess, somewhat justified because if we get rid of it, then the sentence may sound like there is only one team representing all those cities altogether which is of course wrong—there is always one team per city. Even though I perfectly understand what it says, I still have a problem comprehending it in terms of grammar. Could you please clear things up for me a little bit?

  • Could you link to the source? Context might be helpful. – user3169 Aug 8 '15 at 22:46
  • In my AmE dialect, we would say, "There are two teams each from Sydney and Melbourne and one team each from Adelaide, Brisbane, [etc]....". Or more likely: "Sydney and Melbourne are sending two teams each." There would be four teams all told from Sydney and Melbourne. books.google.com/ngrams/… – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 9 '15 at 11:13
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Each of ... is used to talk about things in a list or a group, considered individually and is thus singular. It's very similar to every, but every is more focused on the whole group and each more on individuals.

Let's imagine there are three students in a class: Alex, Mary and James.

Compare:

The students have two cars.

This means that, in total, when we count all the students' cars, there are only two cars.

Without each

Each of the students has two cars.

This means that, in total, there are six cars. Two cars belongs to Alex, another two to Mary and the other two to James.

With each

Therefore, if we say two football teams from each of Sydney and Melbourne, it is similar to the second sentence, i.e.

With each

We cannot say two football teams from Sydney and Melbourne to convey the same meaning; it would be mean something similar to the first sentence, i.e.

Without each

Note that two football teams from Sydney and Melbourne may imply that one team is from Sydney and the other from Melbourne. This usually happens when the number of the things in the group or list is the same as that of the things we talk about.

  • I don't know, but I still think that grammatically it's a very awkward phrase to convey something as simple as the idea of how many soccer teams there are. Or maybe it is a grammar patten that I just happen to have encountered for the first time, no? – Michael Rybkin Aug 9 '15 at 13:31
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There are two teams from each of Sydney and Melbourne...

means there are two teams from Sydney and two teams from Melbourne. So there are four teams total.

But if you say:

There are two teams from Sydney and Melbourne.

I would take that to mean there are two teams, one from each (by assumption) city.

  • I still can't see how you arrived at the conclusion that there are two soccer teams from Sydney and two more from Melbourne. the construction "from each of <city name>" is still confusing to me. – Michael Rybkin Aug 9 '15 at 0:26
  • How about "There are two teams from each one, Sydney and Melbourne..." one meaning city in this context. – user3169 Aug 9 '15 at 1:30
  • But two teams each from Sydney and Melbourne means that there are two teams, and each one comes from both Sydney and Melbourne- presumably made up of players who all come from one city or the other. – Jim Aug 9 '15 at 1:54
  • @Jim It seems it could be ambiguous. In any case, we know it is four teams by doing the math. – user3169 Aug 9 '15 at 2:14
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from each of is a way of combining several individual statements into a single list. The original thought is:

There are two teams from Sydney and there are two teams from Melbourne. There is one team from Adelaide and there is one team from Brisbane and there is one team from Perth and there is one team from Newcastle and there is one team from the Central Coast of New South Wales.

But that's a lot of repetition. We can use from each of to apply a single There is one team from clause to a list of preposition objects:

There is one team from each of Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Newcastle and the Central Coast of New South Wales.

Likewise for the cities that have supplied two teams:

There are two teams from each of Sydney and Melbourne.

We use each of because it literally means "apply the previous thought to each item in the list individually."

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