Many spanish students often get confused with these two words: Other and Another. Although they are very similar, they are definitely not the same. This causes students to make mistakes in exams and lose marks.
When do we use other?
Other can have different uses. For example, if it’s used as an adjective it means different or the second of two ítems. It can be used for both, singular and plural nouns. For example:
There’s some coffee left in this cup. The other cup is empty.
In this sentence, we can see that “Other” means the second of two ítems. “Cup” is singular because we are referring to just ONE, but we could also want to say 2 or 3 cups.
Therefore, we could also say:
There’s some coffee left in this cup. The other CUPS are empty.
This means in THIS cup I still have some coffee, but in the rest of the CUPS (X amount of cups) there is no coffee.
**NOTE: Remember that OTHER doesn’t change if it’s followed by a NOUN. The noun changes if its plural, but OTHER stays the same.
OTHER CUPS = CORRECT.
OTHERS CUPS = INCORRECT.
OTHER(s) can also be used as a PRONOUN. It can refer to people or things. For example:
My classmates Tim, John and Mary always do well in exams. The others don’t.
Here others = classmates. Therefore we have to ad dan –s as the noun is plural.
When do we use “another?”
‘’Another’’ can be used as an adjective. It means “One more”.
For example. I’ve just finished my coffee. I’m going to get another one.
We use “one” because we’ve already mentioned coffee before in the sentence, therefore to avoid repetition we use “ONE” instead of coffee.
“Would you like another piece of pizza?”= WOULD YOU LIKE ONE MORE PIECE?
We use another with singular nouns.
Another person NOT another people.
Another student = CORRECT
If we want to refer to different students we MUST use the plural noun, therefore we would have to use OTHER STUDENTS.
It can also mean an “alternative” or “different”. For example:
“Can we go to another hotel? This one is too expensive”
Here we are using another to express an alternative.