When is it ‘other’ and when is it ‘another’?

Mixing up these two and adding an S in the wrong place happens a lot.


What’s the difference?

When comparing two things, we say:

This chocolate tastes good, but the other chocolate tastes better.
This finger is sore, but the other one really hurts.
That doctor is nice, but the other doctor seems to know more.

Note that there is no S on the end of other when it’s in front of a noun.

When talking about one more or again or a new version, we say:

I think I’ll have another piece of chocolate.
Oh no, I’ve got another headache!
She’s going to another doctor to get another opinion.

Let’s put it a different way.

When we know which doctors we’re comparing:
The other doctor said to eat lots of chocolate.

When it’s not important who the doctor I’m talking about is:
Another doctor said to eat lots of chocolate.

And when we mean all the other doctors:
The others said to eat lots of chocolate.

Now the others does have an S because reducing the other doctors to the others moves the S from doctors to others.

Don’t forget to make up your own model sentences. They will help you remember how to use other and another correctly.

And see here for another common confusion as well as here and here for others.

Got a question? Email me.

© Christina Wielgolawski




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