A: So you really are a good friend?

B: I am. Have I given you another/a different impression?

  • What is correct here "another" or "a different"?

  • Is it a common expression/question?

  • Both are grammatical and understandable. The choice is yours. Apr 25, 2020 at 4:28

1 Answer 1


As Jason Bassford mentioned, both are correct, and it depends perhaps on how the speaker who provides the answer (sentence B) interprets the intent behind the question (sentence A).

If someone's asking "So you really are a good friend?" with a tone of voice that implies they think I'm not actually a good friend, I might say "Have I given you a different impression?" to, effectively, acknowledge that I understand the implication, and to figure out why they don't believe I'm a good friend. If the question makes me angry, I might emphasize the word "different" to show that I'm displeased and ready to argue.

If someone's asking "So you really are a good friend?" with a bit of a smile and a wink, indicating they think I'm more than a friend (a lover maybe?), I might say "Have I given you another impression?" to try to sound as innocent as possible and sort of force them to explain what they're thinking. If I say "a different impression", it might sound like I know what they're thinking, but if I'm trying to play dumb, maybe I'd go for "another" to be extra non-committal and casual.

This is just an example about how a given speaker (me in this case) might use "a different" vs "another" in different situations, and it's not a "rule" for when you should use one or the other. Nuance is something that comes with practice and just observing the choices of words people make in different circumstances.

As to whether it's a common question, I'd say that to me, it's not the most common - I don't see people questioning each other's friendships very often, but it definitely sometimes happens. A much more common question is "Are you friends with ...?", which is simply asking whether you and someone else are friends.

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