1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

one more / one other / another

Discussion in 'English Only' started by wanabee, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. wanabee Senior Member

    Japanese
    Dear all,

    When a student finished asking her teacher a few questions, she said,
    "May I ask one more question?"
    "May I ask one other question?"
    "May I ask another question?"

    I made up the sentences. The student's three questions all look similar to me.
    I would appreciate if someone would explain their differences.
     
  2. GMF1991 Senior Member

    Cork, Ireland
    English (UK, Suffolk)
    The questions specifying "one" give the idea that there is definitely only going to be one more question. "Another" does not necessarily mean that the next question will be the last.

    That's the only distinction that I can make...
    :)
     
  3. kayve Senior Member

    Moscow
    Russian
    In my view #1 = #3.
    #2 is slightly different, to me it means May I ask one more question in a different area?
    Let's see what the natives have to say :)
    Cross-posted
     
  4. wanabee Senior Member

    Japanese
    Thank you very much, GMF1991 and kayve!
     
  5. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    I'm in complete agreement with GMF.
     
  6. EStjarn

    EStjarn Senior Member

    Spanish
    I think #1 is the most likely choice, or say the most polite one, since the student has technically finished asking her questions. Now she is asking the teacher to bear with her just a little longer. If this was a choose-the-best-answer question, I'd go with this one.

    #3 would be expected from a student who had few qualms about taking up her teacher's time. As others have said, she may well have more questions in store.

    I think the most likely implication of #2 is, as kayve suggests, that what she is about to ask concerns a different topic. It is close to #3 because she might want to ask other questions related to the new topic.
     
  7. rhitagawr

    rhitagawr Senior Member

    British English
    I agree with GMF1991. I don't think 'other' implies that it's going to be about a different topic.
     
  8. EStjarn

    EStjarn Senior Member

    Spanish
    So how do you understand #2 then? (I think GMF missed that one.)
     
  9. GMF1991 Senior Member

    Cork, Ireland
    English (UK, Suffolk)
    I admit that there is the possibility of a change in topic, however it is not necessarily implied by the phrase itself...

    :)
     
  10. rhitagawr

    rhitagawr Senior Member

    British English
    If someone is teaching me about the Industrial Revolution, I might ask several questions about it. Then when we've almost finished, I might say, 'May I ask one other question?' It's likely that this question will be about the Industrial Revolution and not about astronomy, the price of bread etc.
     
  11. EStjarn

    EStjarn Senior Member

    Spanish
    No one has suggested that. :)

    I wonder if we read the sentence differently. This is how I tend to read it (emphasis underlined):

    "May I ask one other question?"

    I bet you, Parla and rhitagawr tend to read it as:

    "May I ask one other question?"

    If so, I'd agree that in the second case, there is no implication of the question being about a different topic.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
  12. rhitagawr

    rhitagawr Senior Member

    British English
    Even if I read it as 'one other', I still don't think it means I'm about to change the topic.
     
  13. EStjarn

    EStjarn Senior Member

    Spanish
    Then how would you phrase the question if you wanted it to imply that you are about to change the topic?
     
  14. GMF1991 Senior Member

    Cork, Ireland
    English (UK, Suffolk)
    "Can I ask another, unrelated question?" or "can I ask a question on another topic?" are options. If you wanted to show a change in topic, you'd need to indicate that you intend to change the topic.

    :)
     
  15. kayve Senior Member

    Moscow
    Russian
    I think in an actual conversation a lot depends on the tone with which one asks. I read #2 with a stress on "other", like: Okay, thank you for your answers, may I now ask one other question? Is it true that you're leaving the faculty?? We will be missing you badly!
     
  16. GMF1991 Senior Member

    Cork, Ireland
    English (UK, Suffolk)
    That's true, as discussed in posts #11 to #14, but the point is that even with the stress on "other", it does not necessarily indicate that the following question will be on a different topic. The possibility of that exists, but it is not the only possibility...
     
  17. EStjarn

    EStjarn Senior Member

    Spanish
    It follows then that we could also say that the point is that with the stress on "other", the sentence does not necessarily indicate that the following question will be on the same topic. The possibility exists, but it is not the only possibility... :)
     
  18. GMF1991 Senior Member

    Cork, Ireland
    English (UK, Suffolk)
    I never said that this wasn't the case. I agree that the following question could be either on another topic or be on the same topic, which is the point that I have been making from the very beginning...
     
  19. EStjarn

    EStjarn Senior Member

    Spanish
    Well, you did say in response to my query about how one would phrase a question which wanted to imply a change of topic...
    ...which could in context easily be understood as that by stressing "other" we do not indicate a change of topic at all. Whether it will be a change is from the point of view of a listener just as coincidental as if we had said "one more question."

    So I am still not clear on whether you agree that a stress on "other" could imply that we are about to change the topic.
     
  20. GMF1991 Senior Member

    Cork, Ireland
    English (UK, Suffolk)
    Ok, I see where the misunderstanding is... My point in post #14 was that if you specifically wanted to let the person (to whom the question will be posed) that you are intending to change topic, then you would have to indicate that in your question of "can I ask another question?" by using one of the forms that I suggested. However, I am not saying that by just saying "can I ask another question?" you give the idea that the question is definitely on the same topic, but nor does it state a definite change in topic... There is an ambiguity about whether the question will or won't change topic.

    I hope that clarifies my position.

    :)
     
  21. EStjarn

    EStjarn Senior Member

    Spanish
    Then if I understand you correctly, you would say that (#1) "May I ask one more question" and (#2) "May I ask one other question" have the same chance of being followed by a different topic, that there is nothing in #2 that warrants a higher probability of a topic change.
     
  22. wanabee Senior Member

    Japanese
    Thank you very much, all of you!
     

Share This Page