Different Than or Different From: Know the Correct Grammar

Writing can sometimes end up complicated, especially when dealing with…

Writing can sometimes end up complicated, especially when dealing with phrases. One of these errors include different than or different from grammar mistakes.

Different than or Different from Grammar Error: How to Solve?

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When Should You Use “Different Than”?

Different than is colloquial, which is not technically correct at all times. The phrase may be “Acceptable, accommodated,” but it is not entirely right. It is rather a different use of grammar.

It would seem normal in such cases to use different than. One of the examples is how Charles Darwin did in 1859:

What can be more different than the immensely long spiral proboscis of a sphinx-moth. The curious folded one of a bee or bug, and the great jaws of a beetle?. (Source: www.merriam-webster.com)

Different than, however, requires to be followed by a clause.


  • He saw his world change different than how he expected it to do so.
  • They enjoyed the party different than they thought it would be.
  • Using this keyboard would make you type different than you thought you could.

When Should You Use “Different From”?

Generally speaking, different than is commonly used in the Modern English language. Since the word “different” indicates distinguishing something “from” something, it makes sense to say “different from” if you’re trying to differentiate two things. Also, as a famous English Grammarian Robert Baker said we should stick with using different “from”.


  • German Deutsche seems different from Austrian Deutsche.
  • Italian cake tastes different from French cakes
  • Indonesian democratic values are different from Filipino democratic values.

Also, you use different “from” if you’re trying to compare. This includes two or more subjects you intend to differentiate from one another.

Different is an adjective. When we compare two or more items, it should be followed by from.

Different Than vs. Different From

Different from is the standard phrase. Most scholars obstinately avoid different than, especially in simple comparisons, such as “you are different from me”. (Source: www.grammarbook.com)

The experts, however, are more tolerant of different than. They point out that the phrase has been around for centuries and written by a wide variety of authors.

While they may have a point, many fine writers have never had a problem avoiding different material than they have throughout their careers.

To Wrap Up

Upon reading this article, you might have learned how to use different than and different from. The difference between the two has something to do with English conventional standards that vary from Robert Baker to other English grammarians.

Learning the difference between the two will help you write effectively, especially if you’re writing academic papers.

Remember that different from usually compares two or more things against one another’s qualities. Meanwhile, different than should be followed by a clause.

Frequently asked questions

When what is said is different than what is meant?

1a : the use of words to express something other than and particularly opposite of literal meaning. b : a sardonic or humorous literature style characterized by irony.

What’s the difference between different from and different than?

There is a big difference between the two expressions: different than typically requires a noun or noun form to complete the expression, while different than may be followed by clauses. According to New Farmer, both different from and different than have flourished in America. New Fowler, p. 212.

Is waiting on grammatically correct?

A: In the sense of “await,” both “wait on” and “wait for” have long histories of usage in English, both in Britain and the US. More commonly, “wait for” is used, but “wait on” is prevalent both in the Nordic nations.

How do you remember then and than?

To remember the difference between the two, associate it with time and order and not with any form of comparison. The word than does not really have a one-word replacement; it is a unique one. Carlos is taller than his brother, so here is this example.

Is it different to or different from?

When we compare two or more items, it is usually followed by the following line. Likewise, we use different to, especially in speaking: Adam is so different from/to his brother. Your previous house is very different from/to this one.

What preposition goes with different?

The three common conjunctions used with different are from, than, and to. It is the oldest of these, dating from the 15th century. Although we have known about the term different to and different than for hundreds of years, it is not a new addition to our language.

How do you use different in a sentence?

An adjective phrase is used to contrast two things. For example, basketball players’ defensive tactics differed from those of their opponents. Mac noodle doesn’t differ in some ways from other noodles.

Is it different than or different then?

Keep ‘Then’ and ‘Than’ Separate. You can use this word to describe phrases like smaller than, smoother than, and deeper than.

Is more different grammatically correct?

comparing two different things is more different than what is said. One of them is “more distinct” than the other. Comparing two things is not comparing two things. That is “different”.

Is different to incorrect?

Most British people use the phrase “different from” and most Americans use the word “different than” and both are wrong because the ONLY correct form is “different FROM.”. Now we must explain why “from” is the only correct preposition to use with “different” and why “to” is wrong and “than” is absurd.

Is it correct English to say different than?

Both of these words have been used in standard American English for over 300 years.

Which is correct than me or than I?

This person is younger than me. Answer: ‘I’ is more correct in formal English, but I’m acceptable in informal English and is increasingly used in formal one too. ‘I’ is more correct since you’re comparing two subjects.

Is it different than or different from?

“Different from” and “different than” are both standard, but some guides dislike “different from.”.

How is the usage of a different from an in English language?

Indefinite articles are used before nouns or before adjectives that modify noun lengths into indefinite articles. To determine if you should use ‘a’ or ‘an’ before a word, you must listen to the sound the word begins with. If the word begins with a consonant sound, use ‘a’ if it begins with the vowel sound.

Is different with or from?

It is correct to say that your book is different from mine. This “different” cannot be confused with “difference” (referring to “with”), and it doesn’t convey a part of a whole (referring ]. (which is “from”) distinguishes it from others.

Different Than or Different From: Know the Correct Grammar

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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