Home » Intermediate English Grammar » Using Other

Using Other

Table of contents

Forms of other are used as either adjectives or pronouns. These forms distinguish singular from plural, both as adjectives and pronouns.

The adjective another is used to modify singular nouns. Its plural counterpart, other, is used to modify plural nouns, noncount nouns, and collective nouns. Another means “one more of something” or “something different.” Other means “more things or persons” or “different things or persons.”

  • I want another piece of cake, please. (one more)
  • I don’t like this apple. I’d prefer another apple. (a different one)
  • We met the other guests at the party. (more of them)
  • They’re strange. I’d rather meet the other guests. (different ones)
  • Some books were interesting. Other books were quite boring. (different ones)
  • I like this wine, but I think the other wine is better. (different noncount)

Other and the other can modify plural nouns. They are different only in that the other is more specific. But be aware that the other can also modify singular nouns.

  • Some plants are wilted. Other plants seem to be thriving. (plural, others in general)
  • These trees need to be sprayed. The other trees look healthy. (plural, specific others)
  • This rose bush needs trimming. The other rose bush is perfect. (singular)

Another is also used with expressions of money, time, and distance; in these cases, it means “an additional.” Even though many of these expressions are plural, another is the appropriate modifier.

  • This is not enough. We need another hundred euros.
  • She will live in this house for another six weeks.
  • They had to walk another five miles to get here.

Every other indicates alternating items in a series, for example, counting by even numbers: two, four, six, eight, and so on.

  • Please respond to every other question. (numbers one, three, five, seven)
  • I speak to my brother every other day. (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)

The pronominal form of another is another or another one. It replaces a phrase in which the adjective another modifies a singular noun. If the other is used to modify a singular noun, it changes to the other one when the noun is replaced.

  • Do you want another cup of coffee? Do you want another?
  • I can’t deal with another problem. I can’t deal with another one.
  • Give the boy another quarter. Give the boy another one.
  • The other novel is far better. The other one is far better.

The pronominal form of other is others. It replaces a phrase in which the adjective other modifies a plural noun.

  • Some tourists brought cameras. Others just bought postcards of the scene.
  • Many people are worried about the problem. Others just don’t care.

To be more specific, the others is used.

  • A few runners made it to the finish. The others dropped out an hour ago.
  • Some of the guests got drunk. The others just watched them in amusement.

The following example sentences illustrate various uses of the forms of other.

  • One conference speaker is from California. Another speaker is from Boston.
  • Other speakers are from Chicago. Still others are from New York.
  • I have four Lou Reed records. Three are mine, and I bought them last week. The other record is his. But I only have three David Bowie records. The one with the psychedelic cover is mine. The other records are yours.

Each other and one another express reciprocity.

  • We e-mail each other every morning.
  • We write to one another every afternoon.

Leave a Comment

error: Alert: Content is protected !!