English Grammar: ANOTHER vs OTHER vs OTHERS vs THE OTHER

What's the difference between another, other, others and the other


  • Do you have another question? – singular and general
  • Do you have any other questions? – plural
  • I prefer the other one – singular and specific
  • My boss and your boss really hate one another – a shared condition
  • We need to think of one other possible solution – an alternative
  • I like one or two of his songs but the others are awful – the rest

1. They can be adjectives in sentences

One girl was wearing a white dress. The other girl was wearing a red one.

(‘Other’ is describing or qualifying the noun ‘girl.’ So, it’s an adjective.)

  • Another girl was wearing a pink T-shirt.

 (‘Another’ is qualifying ‘girl’ so it’s an adjective; only used with singular nouns because it means ‘one other.’] 

  • Some girls were playing soccer. The other girls were lying in the sun.

 [‘Other’ is still an adjective. Adjectives are invariable, so they never change for singular or plural. In this case, ‘girls’ is plural, but ‘other’ doesn’t change because it’s an adjective.]

Other, the other, another are adjectives when they are describing a noun.

2. They can be pronouns in sentences

In the following sentences we don’t want to repeat the word ‘girl’ so we use a pronoun. If we

refer to one girl we use ‘other’, and if there are more girls we use the plural ‘others.’ ‘Another’

means one more, so it’s only used to replace a singular noun.

  • One girl was wearing a white dress. The other was wearing a red one. [The other girl]
  • And another was wearing a pink T-shirt. [One more girl]
  • Some girls were playing soccer. The others were lying in the sun. [The other girls]

(‘The others’ is replacing ‘the other girls,’ so it’s a pronoun. Pronouns change for singular or


Other, the other, another are pronouns when they are replacing a noun. They can be singular or plural.

3. ‘Others’ vs. ‘the others’

Both are pronouns, that is, they stand for a noun. ‘Others’ is more vague, we are not determining how many others, or which other ones. ‘The others’ is more specific; it stands for all the rest.

  • Some people prefer vanilla ice cream. Others prefer chocolate. (It’s vague. We are not specifying how many others.)
  • Some people decided to go to the beach. The others stayed at home. (All the rest. The ones that didn’t go to the beach.)

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English Grammar: ANOTHER vs OTHER vs OTHERS vs THE OTHER

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