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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Another or different?    

Another or different?


Another or different?

I was wondering how you explain the difference between "another" and "different."

I have to say "different" if I mean "different" and the difference does not become clear from the context, right?

I would like another apple (= one more and not necessarily a different one)
I want to go to another restaurant (= not this one)

An extract from "Working Girl":
Mick Dugan: Tess, will you marry me?
Tess McGill: Maybe.
Mick Dugan: Ya call
that an answer?
Tess McGill: You want another answer, ask another girl.


15 Jun 2010      

United States

OK, Blunderbuster, you �ve presented a messy matter for us.
As I see it, we use "different" when we need to emphasize that there is a difference. In your "Working Girl" example, if she had said "ask a different girl", she would have meant not only "not me", but "someone who isn �t like me". It would work well if she had said, "You want a different answer, ask a different girl."
"I would like another apple" means, as you said, an additional one.
"I would like a different apple" means that I want a change. It usually means that there is something wrong with this one, so I want to exchange it for a different one. It could mean "I want another apple, but I �d like to try a different kind this time", but that request would usually be worded more clearly.
In your restaurant example, you can say either "another restaurant" or "a different restaurant" with essentially the same meaning. We would say "another" more often, but I think the reason is mostly that it is easier to say.
I �m sure others will have wonderful things to add.

15 Jun 2010     


Another can mean "an extra" or "a different" thing.

15 Jun 2010     


Hmm... as Bruce has pointed out "another" can mean different things depending on the context it is used in.

For example:

If you were in a supermarket, asking for some apples to make a pie and realising that there might not be enough:

"I �d like another apple" - it would mean - one more of the same.

But, if you were in the supermarket and you were given a bruised apple, then the "I �d like another apple" could mean that you want a different apple (probably of the same type but not necessarily) to replace the bruised one.

The resturant example:

From the example, it is obvious that you mean "a different restaurant" and not one more BUT if you had put "this week" at the end of the sentence; then it would mean "one more and possibly a different or the same type of establishment".

i.e. You �d like to go to a restaurant again that week...

The Working Girl example:

"ask another girl".... simply means "ask someone else that is female".

15 Jun 2010     


"I have to say "different" if I mean "different" and the difference does not become clear from the context, right?"

Thank you for confirming me in my above assumption, Yanogator and Linda ;o))))

Kind regards

15 Jun 2010