another vs an other

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New Member
Philippines - English
I'm trying to figure out the difference between using "an other" and "another"

Here are my examples:
Let's write one another. Or is it 'write one an other'? Is that the proper usage in this particular example?

Thank you for your help.
  • Rhianydd

    English, UK
    seo151 said:
    Let's write one another. Or is it 'write one an other'? Is that the proper usage in this particular example?

    In correct English it should read
    Let's write TO one another

    Otherwise, technically you would be suggesting to someone that you both write the words "one another" on a page. Americans do say it but it's incorrect English.


    New Member
    German, Germany (Lower Saxony)
    Is there no other situation where "an other" is correct?


    "Today i like this flower and tomorrow i will like an other flower."

    or would it be right to say "[...] i will like another flower."


    John and Fred go to a shop and each buy an XYZ.
    John's turns out to be faulty and Fred's is so good he wants to buy one for his brother.
    Fred goes back to the shop and says "This XYZ is great, I'd like another one, please."
    John goes back to the shop and says "This XYZ is faulty, I's like an other one, please."

    another = this and a second one
    an other = not this, a different one


    Senior Member
    English, USA
    1. One more; an additional: had another cup of coffee.
    2. Distinctly different from the first: took another route to town.
    3. Some other: put it off to another day.
    "Another" always works.


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    It is difficult to say an other without it sounding like another.
    I can't think of a real example (despite maxiogee's ingenuity;) ) where an other might be correct and another wrong.


    USA, English
    Are you a male, a female, or an "other"?

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.

    My question is also about the word "another".

    For years I have used sentences such as the following:

    Another 15 servicemen were killed today.
    Today I am told that this usage is incorrect: since another means "an other", the above sentence would make no sense.

    This argument seems convincing, but is it correct?


    Senior Member
    Kansas, USA - English
    Another 15 servicemen were killed today.

    I would never have thought of that to be incorrect, but it might be. I would argue that the ''other'' in question is a set of fifteen servicemen, so ''another group of servicemen died'' would be correct as would the original version, in my educated mind, at least. I read somewhere that outside of the USA in some countries, ''an other'' is used in place of ''another'', as they have the same meaning and pronunciation, so it's only a written difference. I, however, have never noticed reading ''an other'' other than reading about the phrase itself.

    Or you could justify it like this...

    Another 15 men died.
    is the same as
    15 other men died.

    Another man died.
    is the same as
    One other man died.


    Spain Englsh
    if you can put the word "yet" before it, then it is should be written "another" if not then is stays separate.

    would you like (yet) another coffee, no I'll try the tea - it's an other type of drink


    New Member
    United States of America; English
    Another 15 servicemen were killed today.
    My opinion on this is that this would only be correct had the previous group of servicemen that were killed numbered 15, since you are saying, "a second group of 15 were killed." But if the question of whether to use "another" or "an other" still stands, then I would say this is correct. Regarding the correctiveness of this statement in general, I would prefer "15 more servicemen were killed today."


    USA, English
    Back to my question...

    President Bush wants to send another 18,000 troops to Iraq.
    I realize I could just as easily say:

    President Bush wants to send 18,000 more troops to Iraq.
    But is the first version correct English, poor English, or something in dispute?

    (If it's OK in the US and not OK in Britain, I'd like to know that as well.)


    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    <<Reply to off topic post removed>>

    In regard to President Bush's troops, I'd think "another 18,000 troops" would be technically correct if there were only 18,000 there already or the last shipment of troops he sent also numbered 18,000. That said, most people probably wouldn't worry about the distinction and would simply read it as meaning "18,000 more troops."


    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    I've only ever seen and used "another" as one word.
    "another 18000 troops" sounds more natural than "18000 more troops" to me, but either usage is fine.

    <<Reply to off topic post removed>>


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    It should help to read the OED definition of another:
    One more, one further; originally a second of two things; subsequently extended to anything additional or remaining beyond those already considered; an additional.
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