- Do you learn Japanese?
- Yes, I do.
- What other languages do you learn?

I want to shrink the last question to:

- What others do you learn?

I want to be sure that I understand the grammar part of "other/others" correctly.


1 Answer 1


The first sentence should really be "Do you study Japanese?" or "Are you learning Japanese?" (or "Are you studying Japanese?"). ("Do you learn Japanese?" would make it sound as though learning Japanese was an action that you undertook periodically or repeatedly.)

Here, you couldn't say "What others", because it would be unclear whether "others" meant "other languages" or "other subjects". (There are many other things it is possible to learn apart from languages.)

You should say "What other languages are you learning?" or "What other languages do you study?".

Are you learning Japanese?

Yes, I am.

What other languages are you learning?

The question could be "What else are you learning?" or "What else do you study?". This would have the same ambiguity as "others": it wouldn't necessarily be asking only about languages. However, it would be idiomatic to use "else" here, whereas "others" sounds odd. If you knew someone was studying languages and not other subjects, you could use "else". (If you didn't know that they were only a language student, you could still use "else", but you might then get subjects other than languages mentioned in the reply.)

If the first question had been "Are you learning the Japanese language?", or if your answer had been "Yes, I'm learning the Japanese language", then it would become acceptable for "others" to stand in for "other languages". (However, it would be less usual to refer to "the Japanese language" than to "Japanese".)


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