Thursday, 24 May 2007

AAE Q59: 'the other/another'


Would you please explain clearly the difference between : other - the other - another .

Thanks a lot.


Firstly I would like to point out a fact that is not always made clear:

'another' is 'an other'
(a contraction of the article 'an' with 'other')

So therefore you can never say:

'the another......'
because you cannot put/use both articles 'a' and 'the' together
(just like you cannot say 'the an apple')

  • 'other' can be used before a noun, like an adjective:
'the other house' or 'another house'

If it is used in this way we do not put 's' on the plural because adjectives don't have 's':

'the other houses' not 'the others houses'

  • 'other' can be used alone, like a noun:
'I'll have another'

If it is used in this way we do put 's' for the plural:

'I’ll take this chocolate, and you can have all the others'
'This phone cost £80, and the others cost £100 or more'

Note: We often use the others to mean 'the other people' so when we say:

'If you tell Jana, I’ll tell the others' it means 'the other people'.

Hope this answers your question