8

Should I use the plural form of verb for each or the single form?

Example:

Each of them are used for different purposes.
Each of them is used for different purposes.

  • Is "each of them" one item, or more than one? That quantity determines which verb form to use. – user3169 Mar 2 '16 at 0:51
  • For example: We have four rooms in the house. Each of them is/are used for different purposes. – Nargesoo Mar 2 '16 at 1:35
  • Each house is how many? – user3169 Mar 2 '16 at 2:52
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    each takes a singular verb You should use is, not are. – Khan Mar 2 '16 at 3:02
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    We have four rooms in the house. Each one is used for a different purpose. – Mari-Lou A Mar 2 '16 at 5:29
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When you say "each of them", you're referring to each individual in a group (them), so you should use a singular verb. That leaves two possibilities:

Each of them is used for different purposes.

and

Each of them is used for a different purpose.

These two sentences have different meanings. The first means that each room is itself used for multiple different purposes. The second sentence means that each room is used for a purpose that is different than those of the other rooms.

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3

Each refers to every one of two or more people or things. You are thinking about them separately. It is followed by the verb in the singular.

Each answer is worth five points.

Each of the answers is worth five points.

But:

The answers are worth five points each.

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