1

Grammar resources say the word other is used before only plural nouns as a determiner, but I met the following sentence in my grammar book so I'd like to ask if it is grammatically correct to use the word other before singular nouns?

Is there any other reason not to go?

It doesn't sound grammatically wrong but how can we explain it?


http://www.grammarbank.com/forms-of-other.html

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/other-others-the-other-or-another

  • 1
    What grammar resources? Surely they list the adjective other? – snailboat Apr 18 '16 at 17:22
  • Thanks for editing to include links to those two resources. Unfortunately, neither of those pages is correct :-( – snailboat Apr 19 '16 at 1:09
5

The second resource you list, Cambridge, stipulates:

If we use other before a singular countable noun, we must use another determiner before it

Any is a determiner (Oxford dictionary), thus your sentence follows this rule.

The sentence

? Is there other reason not to go?

would be ungrammatical according to this rule.

Similarly, the first of the following is correct, but not the second:

1 Do you have any other toy my son might like?

*2 Do you have other toy my son might like?

  • incidentally , any is not used before the singular countable nouns either but it is not problem if they are used both at the same time. – Mrt Apr 18 '16 at 17:58
  • @Mrt Well, as a native speaker I can't agree with that, since the following is fine Do you have any toy my son might like? – Alan Carmack Apr 18 '16 at 18:11
  • Absolutely. Is there any man here who disagrees? In practice, of course, the requirement for an article is usually covered by, say, Do you have another way of explaining the usage? – FumbleFingers Apr 18 '16 at 18:14
  • @AlanCarmack yes your sentence sounds natural but could "any" be used as " indefinite quantity" in your example more than determiner according to dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/any – Mrt Apr 18 '16 at 18:21
  • @Mrt Both uses of any that Cambridge is talking about there are any as a determiner. Determiners can refer to quantities (some, no, many, etc.). – Alan Carmack Apr 18 '16 at 18:46
1

In addition to AlanCarmack's answer, I think 'some/any other', when followed by a singular noun, is interchangeable with 'another'. So you can say:

There's another reason not to go = There is some other reason not to go.

These sentences in the interrogative are as follows:

Is there another reason not to go? = Is there any other reason not to go?

However, it's more common to use another than some/any other. Also, it's more common to use a plural noun after some/any other, but you cannot use a plural noun after another.

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