alternate with one another / follow one another

ridgemao

Senior Member
Chinese - Mandarin
Hello:

There are four seasons in a year. The summer is after the spring, the autumn is after the summer, the winter is after the autumn.
Can I say these following sentences here?

1, The four seasons follow each other in rotation.
2, The four seasons follow one another in rotation.
3, There are four seasons one next to another in a year.
4, The four seasons alternate with one another.

I thinks 1# is incorrect because it shouldn’t use “each other” relating to four items(seasons), so 2# is correct. 3# is grammatically correct but I am not sure whether it is idiomatic. 4# is incorrect because it shouldn’t use alternate relating to four items(seasons).

Thanks.
 
  • le Grand Soir

    Senior Member
    Anglais, dialecte de San Francisco
    To my ear, all four of them sound awkward. The rotation part infers the notion of movement of our planet around our sun, this is not needed. Seasons are not "next to one another"; that really sounds weird. The fourth example of seasons alternating implies some sort of switching of places; this, of course, does not happen. They abide a sequence, if you like.

    Seasons simply follow one another. One season may give way to another (in this case naming of the seasons involved is good). Seasons succeed one another (or one after another). Seasons cycle through the year (this is a bit more dispassionate and rather scientific in tone). One might even say that the seasons flow through the year. Personally, I don't care much for the last example. You choose; you are the writer after all.
     

    Dr No

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    I agree with le Grand Soir that they all sound awkward and with you that (2) is the best of a bad lot. In a cycle or cyclically would be better here than in rotation.
     
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