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I have difficulty telling the difference(s) between "others", "the other", "the others", and "another".

How can I choose which one to use?

1 Answer 1

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As the definition of either'other' and 'another' is clearly provided by almost every dictionary (that you can find most probably), I just illustrate the difference with some examples to clarify their differences more.

1A. Give me the other apple, please. (Here there are two apples, and you ask for the other one)
1B. Give me another apple, please. (Here you ask for another apple, no matter which one among some apples.)

Result 1: As use see, when you use "the other", you point exactly to the other thing, object, entity,... that is not the case for "another"

2A. I've got some other friends that I want to invite. (More than 1 other friends)
2B. I've got another friend that I want to invite. (One more friend)

Result 2: "Another" usually points to just one thing. (another family, another TV, another country, another question; other families, the other family, some other family, any other family)

The use of plural or determined forms obey the general rules.

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  • what would be the difference between "another apple" and "one other apple"?
    – user1425
    Commented Oct 5, 2014 at 18:34
  • @user1425> I don't see any difference. Is it in the OP's question, though? Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 10:40
  • No, it isn't. But the issue remains.
    – user1425
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 18:32
  • @user1425 as native US English speaker: "another apple" just asks for one more among an indefinite amount. If you say "one other apple", similar to "give me one more second" or "one more cent" it's more likely that you wont be asking for "another apple" after you've received it.
    – aikeru
    Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 13:57

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