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  1. You’ve met Linda, but my other sister, who[m] you haven’t met is named Margaret.
  2. You’ve met Lucy, but I have another sister, named Lily, who[m] you haven’t met.

Does the speaker in sentence 1 have two sisters and the speaker in sentence 2 have more than 2 sisters? I think the difference between the/my/your...other and another lies in that the amount that they refer to. "the/my/your... other" applies to two people or things, while "another" applies to more than 2 people or things. Am I right?

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  • Small correction needed: "...met, is called Margaret" and "...met, is called Lily". Otherwise you have to reorder the phrases, like: "You’ve met Linda, but you haven’t met my other sister, called Margaret."
    – user3169
    Jun 30, 2015 at 4:54
  • The second one does NOT need "is"! Jun 30, 2015 at 11:54

2 Answers 2

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  1. You have met Linda, but my other sister, who you haven't met, is called Margaret.

The sentence implies that you have two sisters. When you are talking of two people or things and have already mentioned one, you refer to the second one as the other or the other one. You can also use other in the construction of possessive adjective + other + noun such as my other sister, their other house, etc.

  1. You have met Lucy, but I have another sister, who you haven't met, is called Lily.

In the sentence "another" has been used in the sense of "one more" i.e. you have one more sister. So this sentence also implies that you have two sisters.

If you want to say that you have more than two sisters, you can rephrase your sentences as follows:

1.You have met Linda, but my other sisters, who you haven't met, are called Margaret and Lily.

  1. You have met Lucy, but I have another two sisters, called Margaret and Lily, who you haven't met.
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  • I think you need to fix the second sentence by either ommitting the last is or adding "and who". Also doesn't the second sentence leave the question of the number of sisters open? Or at least more open than the first. It feels like the first fairly conclusively establishes that you have exactly two sisters, while the second leaves open the possibility of a third sister that has not yet been talked about.
    – DRF
    Jun 30, 2015 at 9:02
  • DRF. I think is is a must, and and will be redundant. Another doesn't mean two or more than two. By the way, thanks for your comments.
    – Khan
    Jun 30, 2015 at 11:02
  • Unless something is seriously wrong with my understanding not only is the "is" not a must it is incorrect. I am talking about the is in the sentence "You have met Lucy, but I have another sister, who you haven't met, is called Lily." If you leave out the inserted "who you haven't met" you get the sentence "You have met Lucy, but I have another sister is called Lily," which is certainly not correct.
    – DRF
    Jun 30, 2015 at 11:13
  • As for another leaving the number open I was thinking of e.g. the following example from Merriam-Webster. "The view is very different when it is seen from another angle." Here unlike in the situation where we would say "The view is very different when it is seen from the other angle", we aren't disclaming the existance of some other extra angles of view only pointing to an extra specific one.
    – DRF
    Jun 30, 2015 at 11:26
  • Another argument for the use of another to just mean one more without the implying the only would be in my view the usage of the word in sentences such as "Then he had another sweet, and another, and another ..." Here he keeps taking sweets possibly forever (more likely till the bowl runs out) and the fact that he another sweet doesn't mean he can't have more.
    – DRF
    Jun 30, 2015 at 11:52
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  • my other sister...

means he has exactly two sisters.

  • I have another sister..

means he probably has exactly two sisters, but might have more:

  • ... As for my third sister, Claire, she {lives in Europe/doesn't talk to me anymore/died three years ago/is actually my half-sister/etc}

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