The adjective each
is always followed by a singular noun: each person; each book.
When the adjective follows a plural subject, the verb agrees with the subject: They each dress in different styles. The houses each have central heating.
When the pronoun each
comes immediately before the verb, it always takes a singular verb: Each comes
) from a different country.
When the pronoun is followed by an of
phrase containing a plural noun or pronoun, there is a tendency for the verb to be plural: Each of the candidates has
) spoken on the issue.
Some usage guides maintain that only the singular verb is correct, but plural verbs occur frequently even in edited writing.
It is also sometimes said that the pronoun each
must always be referred to by a singular pronoun, but again actual usage does not regularly observe this stricture: Each member of our garden club had their own special interests.
In the most formal speech and writing, singular verbs and pronouns occur more frequently than plural: Each member … had his own special interests.
The use of plural forms, especially plural pronouns, has been increasing in the United States, partially because of the desire to avoid using he
to refer to a female. Anyone, anybody, everyone, everybody, no one, someone,
follow the same general patterns of pronoun agreement as each.
See also they