The words ‘other‘ and ‘another‘ are difference words. They refer to something different, remaining or additional. They can be used as determiners or pronouns in a sentence.
As determiners, they come before a noun, but as pronouns they can be used independently.
- What other colors do you have? – Thank you. I’ll take the other.
Other, the other, another as determiners
‘Other‘ means extra, additional; alternative or different types. We can use ‘other‘ with both countable and uncountable nouns in affirmative, negative, and interrogative sentences.
When we use ‘other‘ before a singular countable noun, we have to use another determiner before it.
- Do you have these shoes in other sizes?
- We received other information from a different agent.
- I don’t want other people to see me here.
- Can you hand me my other shoe, please?
- I like the other shirt better.
We use ‘the other‘ before countable and uncountable nouns.
— When we use ‘the other‘ before a singular noun, it refers to the second of two things or the opposite in a set of two.
- This hammock is in the shade; I’d like to sit in the other hammock because it’s in the sun.
- I have my suitcase. Do you have the other suitcase?
- Did John send you the other information?
— When we use ‘the other‘ with a plural noun, it refers to the remaining people or things in a group or set.
- I can’t find the other three forks. I only have five.
- Let’s join the other parents in the hot tub while the kids play in the pool.
‘Another‘ is just the indefinite article an + other, and it means one more or additional, extra, or an alternative or different.
We normally use ‘another‘ with singular countable nouns in affirmative, interrogative, and negative statements.
- Would you like another cup of coffee?
- Let’s just go to another restaurant.
- I hope that’s not another solicitor knocking on the door.
We can use ‘another‘ with a plural noun or pronoun when a number or quantifier precedes the plural noun.
- We don’t have room for another 20 people.
- How do you feel about staying here for another few days?
Here’s a summary with the meaning and examples:
Others, the others, the other, another as pronouns
We use ‘others‘ as a pronoun to replace other ones or a plural noun when the noun is known or obvious. We cannot use ‘other‘ as a pronoun.
- All of these glasses are dirty. Do you have others? (‘others’ refers to ‘glasses’)
- Some people agree while others are neutral. (‘others’ refers to ‘other people’)
‘The others‘ refers to (the) other group or (the) other people. It may also refer to animals.
- What are the others up to right now?
- I’m going to see what the others have to say about this.
We can use ‘the other‘ as a pronoun. In this case, it usually refers back to something that was previously mentioned, or to another or the opposite in a set or group.
- I have a child in one hand and a puppy in the other. (‘the other’ refers to ‘hand’).
- I’ll take care of this cat, and you can take care of the other.
We can use ‘another‘ as a pronoun when the noun is known or obvious. We usually use ‘another‘ in affirmative and interrogative statements.
- I already had a croissant, but I think I’ll have another. (‘another’ refers to ‘croissant’)
- You’re finished your beer; would you like another? (‘another’ refers to ‘beer’)
Watch this video from EngVid explaining how to use ‘other’ and ‘another’:
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