(number of) X, and another (different number of) Y


Senior Member
US English
Hi, I see this fairly often, but think it's incorrect: "There were (100) X, and another (50) Y."
I think 'another' should only be used if the number (or quantity) of Y is the same as that of X.
Shouldn't we write, "There were 100 X, and also 50 Y/...and 50 Y as well." ?
What do you think?
  • Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I think you are right when it comes to Biblical English - it seems that the structure is used in the Bible* when the numbers are equal. So maybe that is where you got that impression.

    In more recent works, the structure is used when the Ys and Xs together form a larger group, such as in this sentence: "The Thousand Island Lake (Qiandao Lake) in Zhejiang, China, is an artificial lake made up of 1,078 large islands and another few thousand smaller ones." (from http://whenonearth.net/chinas-thousand-island-lake-submerged-ancient-cities/ ) Both X and Y are islands, and X are the larger islands, so "another" means if you also include smaller islands in the total island count you can add "another few thousand" to the original count of 1,078.

    "In a survey of another 20 large four-year institutions, four campuses said their counts were incorrect, and another five were unsure."
    In this one X is campuses with incorrect counts, Y is campuses that are unsure if their counts are correct or not. They are both campuses and both have possibly incorrect counts. Still similar in ways other than number, rather than having the same number. (From https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/09/26/ipeds-survey-misses-thousands-online-students-often-counts-too-many)

    I think those above are examples of the modern standard usage, and correct.

    *Biblical citations for same number include:
    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2 Chronicles 25&version=KJ21 (2 chronicles 25)
    And Amaziah strengthened himself, and led forth his people and went to the Valley of Salt, and smote ten thousand of the children of Seir. And another ten thousand left alive did the children of Judah carry away captive, and brought them unto the top of the rock, and cast them down from the top of the rock, so that they all were broken in pieces.

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+45&version=JUB (Ezekiel 45)
    "And of this measure shalt thou measure the length of twenty-five thousand, and the breadth of ten thousand; and in it shall be the sanctuary and the most holy place... And another twenty-five thousand of length, and the ten thousand of breadth, shall also the Levites, the ministers of the house, have for themselves"
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