To refer to all chapters except of the current one: "the other chapters of this book" or "other chapters of this book" (without "the")?

  • 4
    "The other chapters of this book / in this book..."
    – rkchl
    Jan 22 '16 at 16:22
  • 1
    @rkchl It would depend one what's meant. If it's all the other chapters, then "the chapters" would make sense. if it's only some of them, then "the" should be omitted. Of course, that would change if there's more in the sentence that restricts it. E.g., "Other chapters in this book also cited Smith." means "some of them did", whereas "The other chapters ... also cited Smith" means "all of them did." But compare with "The other chapters ... that cited Smith ..." vs. "Other chapters that cited Smith ...". Jan 22 '16 at 23:22
  • He already said in his question that "To refer to all chapters except of the current one..."
    – rkchl
    Jan 23 '16 at 1:26

Others means some others and the others means all the others. Likewise, another means one of the others and the other means the only other.


Okay, I reread your question and realize you want to refer to all the other chapters. You would almost always use the for this.

However, I don't want to delete this answer, as I think it has some useful information.

Using the definite article makes a definite reference. Without the definite article it does not make a definite reference.

definite reference:
1 I really like Chapter 2 of this book. But I dislike the other chapters.

There are only so many other chapters. By saying the other chapters you are referring to a known set of chapters. This can be all the other chapters or a previously referenced subset of them.

not a definite reference:
2 I really like Chapter 2 of this book. But I dislike other chapters.

By saying other chapters you are referring to an indefinite amount or indefinite subset of chapters. You are basically being vague about which chapters you mean.

Perhaps you don't even know exactly which "other chapters" you dislike (maybe they are chapters 2, 5, 11,and 17 but you can't remember their numbers). So you can just say "other chapters" to indicate this.

Thus you can also use some as a sort of plural indefinite article, in this context. You know there are some chapters that you dislike, but you do not want to or cannot specify which exact ones.

An indefinite reference comes across as vague because it is vague. It is not definite. Other chapters, some other chapters and some chapters are all indefinite references. They refer to chapters that have not been specified.

By contrast, the other chapters refers to a definite set of chapters, either all the other chapters, or some known or previously referenced subset, for example the chapters about noun phrases in a grammar book.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.