What’s the difference between another, other, others and the other?
ANOTHER vs OTHER vs OTHERS vs THE OTHER
- Do you have another question? – singular and general
- Do you have any other questions? – plural
- I prefer the other one – singular and specific
- My boss and your boss really hate one another – a shared condition
- We need to think of one other possible solution – an alternative
- I like one or two of his songs but the others are awful – the rest
They can be adjectives in sentences
One girl was wearing a white dress. The other girl was wearing a red one.
(‘Other’ is describing or qualifying the noun ‘girl.’ So, it’s an adjective.)
- Another girl was wearing a pink T-shirt.
(‘Another’ is qualifying ‘girl’ so it’s an adjective; only used with singular nouns because it means ‘one other.’]
- Some girls were playing soccer. The other girls were lying in the sun.
[‘Other’ is still an adjective. Adjectives are invariable, so they never change for singular or plural. In this case, ‘girls’ is plural, but ‘other’ doesn’t change because it’s an adjective.]
Other, the other, another are adjectives when they are describing a noun.
They can be pronouns in sentences
In the following sentences we don’t want to repeat the word ‘girl’ so we use . If we
refer to one girl we use ‘other’, and if there are more girls we use the plural ‘others.’ ‘Another’
means one more, so it’s only used to replace a singular noun.
- One girl was wearing a white dress. The other was wearing a red one. [The other girl]
- And another was wearing a pink T-shirt. [One more girl]
- Some girls were playing soccer. The others were lying in the sun. [The other girls]
(‘The others’ is replacing ‘the other girls,’ so it’s a pronoun. Pronouns change for singular or plural.)
Other, the other, another are pronouns when they are replacing a noun. They can be singular or plural.
‘Others’ vs. ‘the others’
Both are pronouns, that is, they stand for a noun. ‘Others’ is more vague, we are not determining how many others, or which other ones. ‘The others’ is more specific; it stands for all the rest.
- Some people prefer vanilla ice cream. Others prefer chocolate. (It’s vague. We are not specifying how many others.)
- Some people decided to go to the beach. The others stayed at home. (All the rest. The ones that didn’t go to the beach.)
ANOTHER vs OTHER vs OTHERS vs THE OTHER | Images
ANOTHER vs OTHER vs OTHERS vs THE OTHER | Image 1
ANOTHER vs OTHER vs OTHERS vs THE OTHER | Image 2
ANOTHER vs OTHER vs OTHERS vs THE OTHER | Image 3