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Difference between Other, Another, the Other, Others

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Other, another, the other, and others have different meanings and are used differently in English.

Let’s examine these words and see how they are used depending on where they appear in the sentence.

“Other” as a Determiner

Other means additional, alternative, or different types of something.

It is used

  • with singular noncount nouns (for example, other music, other news, other information) or
  • with plural nouns (for example, other colors, other types, other words).

Example sentences using “other”

“Other” with singular noncount nouns

There is a lot of bad news this this week, but other news makes you feel better. (additional or alternative news)

This online store sells rock music. It sells no other music. (no other types of music)

You can learn about our courses on this page. Click “information” for other information. (additional or extra information)

Do you have any other luggage? (additional luggage)

“Other” with plural nouns

My students have read three books by Mark Twain. They want to read other writers now. (additional or alternative writers)

I like my job, but I’m looking for other opportunities. (additional or alternative opportunities)

Do you have other bags, or is this the only one? (additional bags)

Here is an example. For other examples, see the next page. (additional examples)

“The Other” as Determiners

When you use other before a singular count noun, you usually need to use an article before it. It can also be used to give an additional choice or alternative, usually when there are two alternatives. It can also mean different types of something.

Example sentences using “the other”

“The other” with singular, countable nouns

This door is locked. Please use the other door. (the alternative door)

Would you like to read this book or the other one? (the alternative between two books)

John has two brothers. One lives in Chicago, and the other just moved to Miami. (additional between two brothers)

This dictionary has simple definitions. The other dictionary is more difficult to read. (additional between two choices of dictionaries)


When you use the indefinite article an before other, you write it as one word: another. The meaning is similar to the other, but it means one more or an alternative or an additional.

Example sentences using “another”

I love this coffee. May I have another cup?

It’s too noisy here to have a conversation. Can we go to another coffee shop?

I’m too busy today. Can we meet for dinner another day?

I already have two suits. I don’t need another one.

“Other,” “Another,” and “Others” as Pronouns

In the above examples, “other” and “another” is used with a noun (e.g., “another cup of coffee” or “the other door”). However, you can use “other” and “another” to replace the noun, which makes it a pronoun.

When used as pronouns, you can use “other” in the plural form others.

Example sentences using “other” and “another” as pronouns

I don’t like this dictionary. Do you have another? (another dictionary)

When you finish this book, start reading another. (another book)

When you finish this book, start reading the other(the other one of two books)

You’re the only one here. Where are the others? (the other people)

I went out with my friends yesterday. Some of us left after 10, but others stayed until midnight. (other of us, other of our friends)

John has two houses. One is in the city, and the other is in the mountains. (the other house)

Two or More Choices or Alternatives

When you have many choices, you talk about one, another, another, another… and finally the other. “The other” signals the last alternative or item.

When you have only two choices, you talk about one and the other. Again, “the other” signals the last alternative or item (that is, the second one).

Compare these examples

Example 1

One of my brothers lives in Chicago. The other lives in Miami.
(I have only two brothers)

One of my brothers lives in Chicago. Another lives in Miami.
(I have more than two brothers.)

Example 2

One of my students earned a perfect score on his exam. The other earned a zero!
(I have only two students.)

One of my students earned a perfect score on his exam. Another earned a zero!
(I have many students, but I’m talking about only two of them)

Example 3. (Trying on shoes at a shoe store)

I don’t like this color. May I see them in the other color?
(There are only two colors.)

I don’t like this color. May I see them in another color?
(There are more than two colors.)

Example 4

Two of my brothers are doctors. Another is a dentist. The other is an engineer.
(I have four brothers. Two are doctors, one is a dentist and, finally, the other one is an engineer. )

Up Next: Expressions Using “Other” or “Another”

Continue the lesson to learn expressions using “other” and “another.”