I'm confused with the use of 'than' in this sentence. Please explain it to me.

Your philosophy of life is different than mine.

  • 1
    'than' is being used as a comparator here, comparing the subject's philosophy to someone else's. This is more common in US English; in British English, we'd usually say "Your philosophy of life is different to mine." – i alarmed alien Jul 11 '18 at 10:40
  • 1
    @ialarmedalien - I'm just one data point, but this American would be more likely to use different from mine, as opposed to different than mine. (I wouldn't have a problem with the latter, though.) – J.R. Jul 11 '18 at 14:23

The word than is used in comparative constructions. Its complement, in your sentence mine, is one of the comparands.

Our car is older than their car.

Our car is older than theirs.

With different you will encounter from and than, and also to now and then.

Our car is different from|than|to theirs. Ours is AWD with a CVT and theirs is a standard transmission with front-wheel drive, but otherwise they look identical.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    GloWbE results for different from|to|than and different from|to|than mine. – userr2684291 Jul 11 '18 at 11:39
  • @userr2684291: I distrust corpora based on web pages for a number of reasons. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 11 '18 at 12:05
  • 1
    That's fair, but everything there is clickable and you can see it in context. You can't do that with Google Books with most of the results. In my experience, results given by GloWbE are fairly accurate; more accurate than the Google Books Ngram Viewer chart because from what I see it uses both BrE and AmE data, and even when you separate it into BrE and AmE corpora, you still get results which don't exactly align with GloWbE or COCA. – userr2684291 Jul 11 '18 at 12:30
  • 1
    Agreed, the US vs British feature in Google is shite. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 11 '18 at 12:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.