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Sunday, 10 July 2011

Stuart's Daily Word Spot: Different from or different than

Different from or different than: In British English, and its cousins, you can’t follow ‘different’ with ‘than’. Although people use both ‘to’ and ‘from’, the preferred use is ‘from’. Fowler, ‘English Usage’ doesn’t even mention ‘different than’, probably because he wasn’t aware of it at the time: it is definitely US usage. And, here in Britain, it’s generally considered unacceptable. Things are logically different from one another, and using ‘than’ after ‘different’ is regarded as a grammatical blunder.

‘The bikini Elle's wearing is different from the one worn by Corinne, but I think that Elle’s is better than hers.’

Picture: the North Sea at Bridlington, East Yorkshire.
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