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I was wondering which choice below sounds idiomatic here.

  • He's in a different class from .......... at the school.

a. the rest
b. the others

I am quite sure we can say:

There are twenty students in our class. are from America, some from Japan, and the rest/others are from China.

Nevertheless, I ran into a similar thread in another forum which perhaps a native had said:

The rest of us includes you yourself with other people. You can stay here while the rest of us leave.
The others are only other people and does not include you yourself. Let's go the park. The others can stay at home.

Unfortunately, it has added to my a

I think they mean the same thing and both work here properly.

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I believe that they would both technically be correct, the difference being in the context in which you are using it.

In your second example, about the international students, saying 'the others are from China' implies that they are part of a separate group or entity. But by saying 'the rest are from china' it implies that the remainder of the group, the same group are from China.

So I think that the main difference between the two is that 'the others' implies that it is a separate group, while 'the rest' implies that it is part of the same group.

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