Difference between "other" and "another"

by Nelson Melgar
(El Salvador)

I have a problem when I use other and another. What's the difference?

Hi Nelson, This is a good question. Many people have difficulty with these two words but luckily the explanation is rather simple.

Other = difference
Another = additional.

Examples in Context:

  • I would like another glass of water because I drank mine already. I am requesting an additional glass of water.

  • Imagine you want to buy a blue towel so the assistant picks up a light blue towel but you don't want the light blue towel. You want the other dark blue towel. (There are choices and you don't want one, you want the other one).

  • Imagine you are eating a piece of cake at a new restaurant. It isn't very good so you say, "The cake at the other restaurant is better than here".

  • You want to buy fish and you are comparing prices at the market. The first kiosk is charging 4Euro a kilo but you want to see more. So you could say, "Let's go to another kiosk to compare the prices".

  • At the second kiosk they are charging 6Euro a kilo. So then you could say, "The fish is cheaper at the other kiosk".

    An exception to this rule

    When you use "another day" and "other day" the meaning changes.

    The other day I went to Portugal.

    This means that previously (in a non specific way) you went to Portugal.

    We can go to Portugal another day.

    This means we can't go today but we can go another day (we can go a different day).

    This is probably why some people get these two words confused. Just remember that generally speaking;

    another = additional
    other = different

    Except for when you are referring to a day...

    another day = a different and separate day usually in the future.
    other day = a different day in the past.

    I hope that helps Nelson.


  • Comments for Difference between "other" and "another"

    Click here to add your own comments

    Jun 01, 2014
    It's so helpful
    by: Daniphord

    Hi Diana this lesson's very useful, I can now use the words more confidently and competently!
    Thanks a lot!

    Apr 08, 2014
    Thanks Diana
    by: Anonymous

    Thanks a million. U are the best teacher and your explanation is very understandable. I'm Fatima from Iran by the way.

    Dec 07, 2013
    by: Anonymous

    Thank you so much. This is very useful for me:)

    Aug 21, 2013
    Thanks Diana
    by: Luiz

    thanks! I also made a big mistake about this both words, but now I'll become able to use them. I'm LUIZ from Brazil.

    Jun 15, 2013
    my comments
    by: Cristian Cabezas

    Thank you for your explanation...It´s makes me feel more confident....one more time thank you guys

    Jun 15, 2013
    by: Azerbaijan

    Thank you very much. The explanation in reality was very usuful for me. I didn't know main differences between them. But after this I understood :)

    May 31, 2013
    Using in class today
    by: Martha

    I am using this in my class today. I teach Seniors from Vietnam and China. Very helpful.

    Mar 24, 2013
    Thanks for your help, Diana
    by: Lean Daisy

    It's wonderful for me to find your website ^ ^ . The explanation is easy and now I understood the difference between "other" and "another". Thank you so much!

    Feb 14, 2013
    Good help
    by: Anonymous

    Thank you Diana, now understand better.

    Jan 18, 2013
    Thank you!
    by: Anonymous

    Diana, you are amazing. It was so usuful. Thank you so much.

    Dec 24, 2012
    by: Anonymous

    Excellent. Now it is clear. Thanks

    Dec 09, 2012
    by: Anonymous

    Really explained well thanks

    Oct 27, 2012
    by: Anonymous

    I found difficulty to differ between these two words when using them. They are making confusion for foreigner who have another native language. Thank you very much Diana. I`m from Iraq

    Oct 12, 2012
    by: Anonymous

    Thanks Diana!!!

    Oct 09, 2012
    by: shirin

    thank you it was useful for me.

    Sep 28, 2012
    Nice Explination!
    by: Sarah

    I'm an English teacher, but I found it very useful. Thanks Diana

    Sep 27, 2012
    by: deepti

    it was a simple and effective explanation of urz..I liked it and understood also...

    Sep 24, 2012
    Thanks a lot
    by: Fabricio Morales

    Thanks you very much!! It's a very clear explanation! I have always had troubles with those two words but right now their meaning is clearer.

    Aug 19, 2012
    Thank Q!
    by: shekar

    Thank you...Diana.

    Jul 23, 2012
    by: Mary

    Yay! That explanation was really good. I have been studying English for one year and have always had that problem between these two words. Thanks very much!

    Jul 15, 2012
    other vs another
    by: Anonymous

    Thank you Diana! It's very helpful, I make this mistake quite often as well.

    May 11, 2012
    by: Hernancito

    Thank you very much, I've been learning English for 2 years, and this doubt was killing me!!!

    Apr 04, 2012
    other and another
    by: Raed

    Very clear, appreciated.


    Mar 29, 2012
    Great Solution
    by: Chetan (INDIA)

    Hi, Thanks millions. I am thoroughly satisfied with the clarification given. Thanks again...

    Mar 24, 2012
    As above
    by: Girish C Dave

    When you have to choose between two things, the word other is used. Eg Take this or the other.

    When there are more than two things, the word another is used. I will come on Sunday or on another day means Mon or Tue----or Saturday.

    Feb 27, 2012
    difference between other and onother
    by: Mayuresh Pashte

    I was confused about the difference between meanings of words "other and another". I asked many people about it to whom who knew english very well. But I cant appreciate by answer given by them. Now I get clear.

    Many Many Many Thank You!

    Dec 07, 2011
    How about this
    by: Anonymous

    What about correcting the sentence below.
    "In my another spare time" I got as far as suggesting alternative of "in my other spare time" but I am not at all sure how to explain this.

    Hi there! In this case we wouldn't use either. We would just say in my spare time. We don't identify one spare time vs another because it is uncountable. It is just spare time. -Diana

    Nov 09, 2011
    Other and Another
    by: Luis

    Can you use Other and another the same way when you are referring to people. E.g another person...
    other person...

    Yes you can! You can say that we need another person in the class (an additional person) or you could day the other person (when choosing between people) needs to do something. -Diana

    Oct 25, 2011
    Great live examples
    by: Anonymous

    Thanks!!! hope it will be helpful for my students.

    Oct 17, 2011
    Thank you!
    by: Cosmin, from Romania

    I can say that only now I understand the difference between other and another

    Sep 07, 2011


    Aug 31, 2011
    by: angel

    great, thx so much

    May 30, 2011
    Thank you
    by: shahab

    Hello. Thank you for your help.

    May 26, 2011
    by: Sorel

    Is there any relation between the use of other and another and fact the context is plural or singular?

    I have another friend
    I have other friends

    Thank you very much.

    May 06, 2011
    How can I reach you?
    by: Mauricio

    So simple and such a great explanation, thanks a lot, it makes things easier for all of us.

    You are welcome Mauricio! As for reaching me you can send me a message via the "contact me" section on the site. Take care! - Diana

    May 03, 2011
    by: NODIRA


    Apr 30, 2011
    by: Joaquim

    Thanks, also was making confusion. I'm not good at English but I love this language.

    Joaquim from Mozambique

    Apr 26, 2011
    Thank you
    by: from Egyptian

    Brilliant teacher

    Apr 16, 2011
    The best!
    by: Nancy S.

    Your explanation is the best...

    Apr 15, 2011
    Rules and Mechanism!
    by: Anonymous

    Not only does this teacher give the rule but shows its mechanism of use.

    Mar 03, 2011
    other and another
    by: Anonymous

    Good explanation, thank you so much, I now understand the difference between other and another.


    Nov 10, 2010
    by: Anonymous

    Thank you so much for you clear and easy explanation. It was very understandable.Thank you for you help.

    Nov 05, 2010
    Thanks for Your Help
    by: Mongcam

    Thanks so much! You are a good English teacher!

    Sep 17, 2010
    I understand now!
    by: arthur

    Thank you for the explanation...all the way from Peru! Greetings - Arthur

    Sep 13, 2010
    Thank you
    by: Anonymous

    You are the best!

    Aug 23, 2010
    by: Sebastian

    great explanation.

    Aug 12, 2010
    Other and Another
    by: Kanel

    Your explanation is really worth reading. I have already cleaned my doubtfulness. Unlimited thanks!

    Jul 14, 2010
    by: Anonymous

    I like your clear explanation.. Thanks...

    May 26, 2010
    Great stuff!
    by: Thayna

    I loved this explanation! I found it easy to understand! Congratulations!

    Apr 26, 2010
    Thank you Diana!
    by: sarah

    Thank you a lot! I'm verry happy because I need this help a lot.

    Mar 05, 2010
    Clear Explanation
    by: Anonymous

    very clear illustrations to use
    Thanks a lot

    Jan 21, 2010
    by: khalid

    Hi thank you alot, and I think (other and another) I
    need to much practice.

    Dec 15, 2009
    The Other and Another
    by: post it

    Hi Thank for your help. I was very confused about it. However I noticed something too. Anytime we going to write something the word ''Other '' is usually together with the article ''The''. For example: I am going to The other restaurant. This way if the sentence does not have the article, It might be that he next word is ''Another'' instead of other.
    Thank you I hope this comment will be right'' bye
    Great observation! You are correct. We always use other with "the". Good tip! -Diana

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