When I first learned about how Spanish uses other vs. another, it blew my mind! It’s another one of those uncommonly known differences between English and Spanish that I would like to discuss in this blog.
See, in English, we use other, others, and another for different reasons.
However, Spanish ONLY uses:
for BOTH another and other! Isn’t that amazing?
**Do not use un/una before otro/a/os/as!**
– Yo quiero otra cerveza, por favor.
– Prefiero tener otros zapatos.
– Vamos a otro lugar.
– Necesitamos otras cosas.
If you’re an ESL learner, you will need to learn the difference between other vs. another.
ANOTHER = one more, extra, additional, alternative, different
Instead of writing as “an other,” we write it as another.
We use another before singular nouns**:
– I have one drink. I would like another drink, please. (additional)
– I don’t like this store. Can we go to another one? (alternative or different)
We can also use another like a pronoun:
– First, try on this shirt, and then you can try on another.
**We do not use another with plural nouns.
OTHER = additional, extra, different types of, alternative
We use other before singular uncountable nouns and plural nouns.
– What other countries do you want to visit? (additional)
– If this isn’t enough information, you can visit other websites. (additional)
– I don’t like this flavor; do you have other flavors? (alternative)
– Some people like this furniture, but other furniture makes people happy. (different types of)
- We can use other before singular, countable nouns, but we have some type of determiner before it:
– I don’t like this flavor. I prefer the other flavor.
– There’s one other place we need to see first.
– Our other dog upstairs is much nicer than this one downstairs.
2. Also, other can be used as a pronoun:
– We have a lot of problems, and we need to solve this one more than any other.
3. Other has a plural form as a pronoun to refer to more than one person or thing:
– I have showed you some movies today. I’ll show you others tomorrow.
4. We can use “the other” as a determiner:
*As a determiner, we can use it before a singular noun to mean the second of two things/people or opposite of a set of two:
– This dog is brown. The other dog is yellow.
– My bathroom is to the right. The bedroom is on the other side of the hallway.
*We can also use “the other” before plural nouns to mean the remaining people or things in a group or set:
– My two bags are here, but where are the other bags? (the remaining bags)
– Where are the other actors in the Friends cast?
5. Lastly, we can use “the other” as a pronoun to refer back to something that has already been mentioned, especially in a sentence:
– I’ve got one hand in my pocket and the other is holding a cigarette.
– I have two books. One is a drama and the other is a tragedy.
You can find more information out there about these differences and exceptions, but I just wanted to cover the basics. Most of all, I wanted to introduce you to something that you might not have known about before.
Thanks for reading!