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Other vs Another – What’s the difference?

This is a useful English speaking lesson from our Let’s Talk English speaking course Mumbai. In this spoken English lesson you will learn the difference between the commonly used English words – Other & Another. Do you think there’s difference OR no difference at all? Watch this English speaking training video by Rachna, to understand how these two words differ, and when you could use them in your English conversation.

You could also take up an English speaking course with us. We offer classroom training for English speaking courses in Mumbai. If there’s no Let’s Talk English speaking classes near you, you could join the same English speaking course through Skype. For more details on these courses, visit the links below.

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Complete Lesson Transcript –

Hi friends, welcome back to another English speaking lesson? Or another English speaking lesson? Well, this is what today’s lesson is all about. But before I begin, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our subscribers who’ve been watching our lessons, liking our lessons and of course the most exciting part about doing our lessons is receiving your wonderful comments. I mean it’s really encouraging, it’s really motivating to feel so appreciated, so thank you once again and please do continue doing what have been doing all along, alright, thank you for your support. Coming back to this English speaking lesson. Well, I’m back with another lesson and I’m going to tell you why. So in today’s lesson, we’re going to look at two common words that we use probably every day but sometimes we get confused, whether we should use other or another. So first let’s take a look at other. Now other is used as an adjective. It is used as a pronoun, okay but it means different or sometimes it means the second of two things. Supposing you have two things, you talk about the second one, okay. Now in my first sentence, I say, I can’t find my other shoe. Now imagine I’m searching for my shoes, I do find one, say my right leg, okay my right foot shoe but I’m in search of the other one. So, I say I can’t find my other shoe. Why do I say, the other shoe because I mean the second of two shoes, right we have the right leg and the left foot. So you say the other shoe. I can’t say another shoe. Okay because another means additional but I wanna say, the second of two shoes. So I found one but I can’t find the other shoe. Alright and that is why, I use other because it means the second of two things or two items, fine?

In my next example, have you got any other questions? Now supposing I’m teaching probably an English lesson or in an English class, I take up a lesson and there are a lot of queries. So when I’m winding up my class, I tell my students, okay have you got any other questions? Okay so any other different questions, any more questions? Yeah, so any other questions, okay. so probably out of ten people, five have asked me and five haven’t, so I look at them and say, do you have any other questions or maybe I ask all of them, do you have any other questions? That means do you more questions and in this case, do you have different questions than the ones that you just asked? Okay, so you don’t say, have you got any another question? No, it’s any other questions, fine?

In my third sentence, I’m not going to wear this dress. Now supposing, I have two dresses, okay, there’s dress and there’s dress b, a red dress, and a black dress. So I say, I’m not going to wear this dress, okay I prefer the other one. So I prefer this one. So I am looking at the second of two things. So I’m not going to wear this dress, I prefer the other one. This is the second dress that I’m talking about, that I prefer. So, you use it when you say, the second of two things. Well, if I say, I prefer another one that means I’m talking about an additional one, right? The meaning would change but here out of these two, I prefer the second one, I prefer the other one. Okay or sometimes you go shopping with your friends and she has two pairs of shoes in her hands and you say, this doesn’t look that great, the other one looks better, right? So that means the second one. The second one of both the pairs, fine?

Now, a few students are one time, okay the others are always late. Now here, I have put it in plural because I’m talking about a group of students, many students, okay. Only a few are on time, the others, so here I’m replacing it with other students. Okay and because I’m talking about many students, I’m going to say, the others are always late. How annoying is that, right? So the others are always late. So when you talk about plural people or things, well and if you use it as a pronoun like I have replaced others. I have replaced other students with others. I have used it as a pronoun. You may use others for plural things or people. Now can I say, the anothers are always late? It makes no sense, right? So I’m talking about a second lot of my class. So a few students, that’s the first lot are always on time but the others or the other students are always late, fine? So remember others is the plural of other and use it when you talk about, people or things in the plural, right? Well the last example, only one parcel has arrived, where are the others? Now I’m expecting say 5 parcels, this morning, only one has arrived. Where are the others? Again, in this sentence, I have used it as a pronoun. Alright and of course because there are multiple parcels, there are 4 parcels yet to come, I have used others. So, I could have also said, other parcels, okay I’m replacing this with others. So because, there are four parcels, yet to come, I have used others. That is the plural of other. Okay friends, so remember, other is a word that means different or the second of two things or the second lot, alright and it can be used for singular and plural nouns. You use it for people and things and others is the plural of other, fine? I hope you’ve understood this. Now we’re gonna take a look at how to use another.

Okay so now let’s see another. Another is an added to other, okay and it is always written as one word, another. So another means one more, it means additional and sometimes it also means alternative. Okay, so if I’ve already had a cup of coffee and I’m still very sleepy, I’m gonna say, could I have another cup of coffee? I want to say, could I have other cup, alright because I want an additional cup, I want one more cup of coffee. So could I have another coffee that means one more? Alright or an additional cup. Sometimes you like this pastry and you want some more or you want another slice. So you say, could I have another piece of cake? Right? We do that often. Yes, so that means one more or additional. My next example, get another plate. Now supposing we are at a cafe, okay and we are a group of six but there are only five plates on the table. I’m gonna say, could you please get another plate, that means to get an additional or get one more plate. it would be odd, if I said, get other plate, doesn’t make sense because I want one more on the table so I’m going to say get another plate. Fine friends? I hope you’ll are understanding the usage of another.

My third example, the investigation will take another two weeks. Now, we are going to take a look at how it is used in the plural. Okay, now another, by and large, is always used for singular nouns but when you use it for plural. You need to ensure there is a number before plural nouns. So if I have a sentence that says, the investigation will take another weeks. No, you can’t’ say another weeks, okay. You cannot use it with plurals directly. You need to have a number or a quantity. So, the investigation will take another two weeks. Okay, when you ask children when are the exams gonna end? They are gonna make a sad face and say, my exams are going to be on for another five days. Okay so that means another five days and that is you use it, plural nouns have a quantity before it, have a number before it, okay, fine.

The fourth example, the is cafe isn’t good, is there another one around? Now, I don’t like this one, is there another one? That means, is there an alternative cafe or different cafe? Now supposing you go shopping and you see this pair of jeans and you don’t like the brand, you’re not too convinced about it. So you ask the sales guy or you ask the storekeeper, do you have another brand? Yeah, I’d prefer trying another brand. So that means, an alternative brand, fine so we use another when we want to use the word alternative. Okay like a different brand, fine and my last example, the message is typed by one person, then edited by another. Okay, so here it’s used as a pronoun. You can say it’s typed by, the message is typed by one person, then edited by other. It makes no sense, another. So here it replaces another person. Okay and that is how it is used as a pronoun. That’s why, we always say, we know one another, right? Three people, more than two people, we know one another, another, right? So that’s how it’s used as a pronoun for people. So the message is typed by one person then edited by another that means edited by another person.

Fine friends? Well, this is how we use other and another in English. These are the very basic usage of these two words and hope you’re gonna use them correctly now. Do put in your comments and queries and I’m going to be back soon with a new lesson, till then take care and bye.

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