A common grammar error taught in Taiwan – The Other vs. Another

  

There are _____ five students waiting in front of the theater.
選項:
1. another-->
正解
2. the other-->
不知道為何不能用the other!

  

Basically, the reason that you cannot use "the other" is because "the other" means specific things.  This has nothing to do with things that are more than three or less than three.  Stating that because there are more than three objects, so you have to use "another" is a common Grammar teaching mistake in Taiwan .   

  

"The other" is a phrase used to differentiate two or more objects.

  

For example: 

(1) I have three cats.  One likes to sleep all day.  Another (one) likes to eat all day.  The other (one) likes to hide all day. (We are talking about three specific cats – my cats)

 

=> This means:  One of my cats likes to sleep all day.  The next cat of mine likes to eat all day.  The last cat of mine likes to hide all day.

 

(2) Nick found some ants. One of the ants is eating a dead bug.
The other ants are eating a piece of apple.

 

=> This means:  One of the ants is eating a dead bug and the rest of the ants (all the other ants) are eating a piece of apple. 

 

** See. here, I am using "the other ants", so the explanation that "the other" is used when referring to two objects, and "another" is used when referring to "more than three objects" is inaccurate.

 

As to why “the other” cannot be use in the above sentence, it is because we are not talking about specific students.

If the sentence is:
I saw 10 students in the Mall. One student was eating ice cream in a coffee shop. The other nine students were lining up in front of the theatre.

=> Then, you should use "the other", meaning the rest of the students.

 

"Another" is used when referring to "one more”, “additional”, “the next”. 

 

There are another five students waiting in front of the theater.

=> This means:  There are an additional five students waiting in front of the theater.

Other examples:

Can I have another cup of coffee?

Another victim was found from the car crash.

 

 

 

** 版權所有 - Elisa

 

See http://www.english-zone.com/grammar/st-yudai.html

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