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ESL Learning: Another, Other & The Other

Another Other the other

At first, it seems complicated, but there are clear rules that can help us to understand when to use another, other, and the other.

We use another with singular, nonspecific, countable nouns.

  • Singular means that we are talking about only one of something.

  • Nonspecific represents that we are not referring to a certain one.

  • A countable noun is a noun that we can talk about in numbers (for example, 4 shirts).

We can think of another as a/an + one more OR a different one.

Examples:

  • Mom, this salad is great! Can I have another serving?

  • Excuse me; this glass is dirty. I’d like another glass, please.

We use other with nonspecific plural or uncountable nouns.

  • Plural means that there is more than one.

  • Uncountable nouns cannot be talked about directly in terms of numbers (for example, entertainment).

Examples:

  • I would like some other chances to go to the beach.

  • She has some other equipment that we can use for gardening.

We use the other for specific nouns. These specific nouns can be singular, plural, countable, and uncountable nouns, as long as they are specific.

  • Specific nouns are nouns that have been introduced before in the conversation or that we can point to.

Examples:

  • One of the things that I like about her is that she is really funny. The other thing that I think is great about her is that she is kind.

  • He has visited South Korea. The other countries that he has visited in East Asia are Japan and Taiwan.

Thanks for taking the time to read our blog! There are many other posts about grammar here on the ETO blog. Would you like some other chances to build your English skills?

Another thing that you can do is to try a free ETO class! One of the other options is to study on your own, but studying with another person who is a skilled English teacher will help you to build your English more quickly, and to have more fun!

By Joseph

ETO American English teacher

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