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Intermediate level

Other, another or the other?

Episode 191203 / 03 Dec 2019

This week's question

What's the difference betwen 'other', 'another' and 'the other'? - Maxim from Russia

Answer this

Which of these words can be made plural and used as a pronoun?

Language points

Other 
Other
can mean 'alternative' or 'different', or it can mean 'additional'. 

  • I like oranges, but other fruit tastes terrible.
  • The first meal is free. Other meals can be purchased if you are still hungry.

Other: forms
Other can be a pronoun or a determiner. As a determiner, it must be followed by an uncountable or plural noun. In order to use 'other' with a singular countable noun, an additional determiner must be used.

  • This car is OK but my other car is better.

The other
The other
can mean 'the second of two options' or 'the remaining things in the group'. It can be followed by singular, plural countable nouns or an uncountable noun.

  • This car is good, but the other car is better.
  • This car is good, but the other cars are better.

Another
Another is 'an' + 'other'.
It must be used with a singular countable noun. It can mean either 'alternative' or 'additional'.

  • I don't like this T-shirt. Do you have another one?
  • That was delicious. Can I have another burger?

Pronouns
Other, the other and another can be pronouns. They have the same meanings as before: 'alternative' or 'additional'. In addition, when other is a pronoun it can be made plural: others.

  • I've found a sock. But where is the other?
  • I've got a sock. Do you have one other?
  • She quit her job and found another.
  • I've seen many films, but I want to see others.

The answer

Other can be used as a pronoun and made plural: I've seen many films, but I want to see others.

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