They looked at each other/themselves for ages

hedgy

Senior Member
Catalan
I have a problem. I thinks the following two sentences are correct, but I am not sure:
They looked at each other for ages.
Here it means that he looked at her and that she looked at him.
They looked at themselves for ages.
Here it means he looked at himself (in a mirror) and she looked at herself (in a mirror)
Wht do you think?
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    The different interpretations of "themselves" and "each other" seem possible, hedgy, but I think it's also possible that a speaker could use "themselves" to mean "each other." Who wrote these sentences?
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    I think that you've got it exactly right, Hedgy. Except that there's no need for a mirror - I can "look at myself" simply by lowering my head, and get a view from breastbone to feet with not too much hidden in between.
     

    hedgy

    Senior Member
    Catalan
    I haven't seen it anywhere, I was doing an exercise and it just came to my mind "They looked at each other for ages" and I thought that the other option could be also possible.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    People might use "themselves" with that meaning instead of "each other" in speech, hedgy. If they do, their listeners will have a hard time understanding what they meant. Use "each other" if you want to be clear.
     
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