Which is correct - different to or different from?

Jump to Last Post 1-12 of 12 discussions (12 posts)
  1. maggs224 profile image83
    maggs224posted 7 years ago

    Which is correct - different to or different from?

    Recently I was picked up on my use of English when I said to my friend "I do it different to you" this person said I should have said I do it different from you?

  2. profile image0
    paulgcposted 7 years ago

    I think i would go with "different from", it feels right. I have also heard it said "different than" so maybe there are numerous ways to say it.

    Good question maggs224:)

  3. Bretsuki profile image74
    Bretsukiposted 7 years ago

    I would not use either.

    I would choose to say, "I would do it differently."

    But the real magic of English is that unlike French we can all say things the way we want to, without falling foul of the language police. smile

  4. Nare Anthony profile image68
    Nare Anthonyposted 7 years ago

    I think it should be I do it differently. If you mean that...

  5. annart profile image88
    annartposted 7 years ago

    Neither of you was correct.  You would say, 'I do it differently', as has already been suggested.  'Differently' is an adverb, it goes with a verb (a doing word/ an action).
    However, when talking about, say, an object or a viewpoint, you would say, 'this picture is different from that one'; think of it as if you're taking it away FROM something because it doesn't go, it's different and you are making a comparison. 
    Although French tends to be more rigid in agreements etc, English has its rules which remain fundamental when we need to impart information and ideas correctly, when subtle differences are important.  Day to day conversation remains flexible and language evolves but basic grammar is the mainstay.  Sorry, I do know what you mean about the language police, Bretsuki; a good balance depending on situation is probably the key!

  6. alancaster149 profile image85
    alancaster149posted 7 years ago

    It's "different to" every time; (same as "being indifferent to")  but: "it differs from". The root of the understanding is in the ending "-ent". Refer to page 96, Eric Partridge USAGE & ABUSAGE, Penguin ISBN 0-14-051-024-9
    "The editor's copy at The Times was different to his sub-editor's", or "The editor's copy at The Times differed from his sub-editor's".
    Try also Gordon Jarvie's GRAMMAR GUIDE published by Bloomsbury ISBN 0-7475-1385-6 with check-up pages 201-211. See if your knowledge of English checks out!

  7. Mazzy Bolero profile image75
    Mazzy Boleroposted 7 years ago

    In British English, the correct version is either "different from" or "different to".  In American English they very often say "different than".

  8. old albion profile image67
    old albionposted 7 years ago

    I think it should be,  ''I do it differently.'' Then one would explain what they do. I don't think that ''to you'' or ''from you'' should be used at all and ''different'' should be ''differently''
    Best Wishes.

  9. Specialist5 profile image69
    Specialist5posted 7 years ago

    According to the tenth edition of The Gregg Reference Manual by William A. Sabin, under the heading Prepositions, Words Requiring Certain Prepositions (1077 page 300):  "Usage requires that certain words be followed by certain prepositions.

    Different from:  This product is different from the one I normally use.

    Different than:  I view the matter in a different way than you do.  (Although from is normally preferred, "than" is acceptable in order to avoid sentences like 'I view the matter in a different way from the way in which you do.'" 

    Note that "than" comes after "way" which answers the question: different how?  See how much easier it is to choose the correct preposition in this sentence by answering the question first.  This was indicated by a previous hubber.

    Of course there are ways through and around the grammar mindfield.  Change the wording completely if you're not sure, i.e. This is not the way I view it or I'd like you to consider this view point (product) or This one is not like that one because.  You can pretty much twist and turn words every which way and still say the same thing.  The idea is to get it correct no matter which way you choose.  Using the word  "differently" (adverb) is one of those twists you can use when you don't know or are not sure if it's "from" or "than."  Of course differently would not be followed by from or than.

    Whether it's this book or one of the others mentioned previously, a top-of-the-line grammar book is a must have for every aspiring writer or anyone who wants to get it "write."

  10. sandra walsh profile image60
    sandra walshposted 7 years ago

    It would depend on the context but I would probably use "different to" or "different from" if talking about something that occurs on a regular basis or in comparisons. However, I would use "I would do it differently", if I were to be giving advice or establishing a character difference with emphasis.

  11. maggs224 profile image83
    maggs224posted 7 years ago

    What a great community this is, I want to give a great big thank you to alancaster149, old albion, annart, Specialist5, Nare Anthony, paulgc, Bretsuki, Mazzy  Bolero and sandra walsh.

    What a great reservoir of knowledge exists on Hubpages and such wonderful people who share that knowledge so freely.

    I knew that someone out there would know and I am overwhelmed by how many of you took the time out to answer this question with explanations and examples it has truly helped me.

  12. hillymillydee profile image61
    hillymillydeeposted 7 years ago

    If you are making a contrast then you will use different from. For example: humans are different from animals.

    Also as you mentioned, the right sentence must be "different from you" since you are actually making a contrast between 2 subjects.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)