[no student or no other students] is as intelligent as my son.

Why do we use "no other students" in the above sentence?

We do say that "There is no student in the class." Here "no student" refers to all the students which are not in the class.

So in the above sentence "no student" does not refer to all the students?


No X means ‘not even one’ X: not a single member of the entire group X.

No student in the class is 15 years old yet. ... Of the students in the class, none is 15 years old; all of them are younger.

Other divides the group you are talking about into two parts. You identify one of the parts, and what is left is the other part. For instance:

The red books are mine. The other ones belong to Seema. ... Here I am talking about a group of books. I identify one part, all the red books, as mine; everything that is left, the other ones, are yours.

Roy is the youngest boy in his class. He is 12; all the others are 13. ... The group you are talking about is the boys in the class. One is named, Roy; the others are all the boys who are not Roy.

So whenever you see the word other you have to identify what it is contrasted with.

In your sentence “No student is as intelligent as my son”, you are speaking about a group of students. If your son is a student, he is a member of that group, and the sentence contradicts itself: it is not true that no member of the group is as intelligent, because your son is a member and he is as intelligent as himself.

So you should say “no other student”. This divides the group into two parts: 1) your son, the most intelligent, and 2) all the other students who are not as intelligent as he is.

In this case you may cast student as either singular or plural; but as Martze says, whichever you choose, the verb must agree.

No other students are as intelligent as my son.
No other student is as intelligent as my son.

I prefer the singular, because I think of your son being compared to each other student individually; but the plural won't raise any eyebrows.

  • I got singular plural thing. But can you please make me understand the difference between no student and no other student. For me both makes the same sense. Thanks. – Seema Bhukar Sep 26 '15 at 6:54
  • @SeemaBhukar See my rewrite. – StoneyB Sep 26 '15 at 11:25

No other student is as intelligent as my son.


No other students are as intelligent as my son.

Notice that student is the subject and both subject and predicate must have the same numerus.

I'd say, the word other emphasizes the fact that no other student is as smart. They both relate to the same group of people.

  • I would only got with The first alternative, because the second one violates the very rule you are stating. – Prashant Sep 25 '15 at 18:40
  • Student and is are both singular, students and are are both plural. Do i miss somehing? If you know more, enlighten me please :) – Martze Sep 25 '15 at 18:43
  • That is correct, but I was referring to combining "No other students are"(plural) with "as intelligent as my son" (singular). – Prashant Sep 25 '15 at 18:45
  • 1
    Please note that the OP asks about the purpose of the adjective other. – Lucian Sava Sep 25 '15 at 18:47
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    So "he eats two apples" would be wrong in your opinion? Both "apples" and "as my son" are not a subject. – Martze Sep 25 '15 at 18:50

No student is as intelligent as my son. No girl is as beautiful as my daugther. We use a question to identify the sentence subject: who is as intelligent as my son? Answer: No student. It means: No student( anyone, no another one student is as intelligent as my son). Grammar and Semantics as so as! That's all!

  • This doesn't answer the question, which was 'no student' compared to 'no other students' and not about identifying the subject of the sentence. – ColleenV Mar 7 '16 at 13:46

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