Example sentence:

I turned up at the entrance of the hotel thirty minutes early to prepare myself psychologically. In other words, to drown my nervousness with the whiskey I’d bought at the convenience store.

I thought put differently was a good synonym. But for some reason, it sounds a little different. Maybe I'm wrong.

What's the best synonym for in other words (like applied in the example above)?

  • How about that's to say? Mar 15, 2018 at 14:23
  • 1
    Expressions like in other words (or alternatives such as that is to say, to wit) can be used "literally, naturally" (as a simple restatement of what was already said). But often (as in your example) the intent is effectively "facetious" (a surprising, amusing, or otherwise "unexpected" clarification). For which you might also consider expressions such as actually, in fact, in reality. But it's a stylistic choice, and ELL isn't really the right site to help you write amusing prose like that. (But for what it's worth, I'd use to wit :) Mar 15, 2018 at 14:26

1 Answer 1


I would tentatively say that there is no better synonym for in other words than the expression to put it another way. This is how the Macmillan Dictionary defines it:

used when you are going to explain something in a different way in order to make it easier to understand

It, of course, means exactly the same thing as put differently. The only difference is that, in terms of the flow, to put it another way sounds a lot smoother than put differently in your particular example. I'd also add that it's just better idiomatic English in general.

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