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Which is correct - different to or different from?

  1. maggs224 profile image86
    maggs224posted 6 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 6 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 image80
    Bretsukiposted 6 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 image71
    Nare Anthonyposted 6 years ago

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

  5. annart profile image86
    annartposted 6 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 image86
    alancaster149posted 6 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 image80
    Mazzy Boleroposted 6 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 image72
    old albionposted 6 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 image66
    Specialist5posted 6 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 image58
    sandra walshposted 6 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 image86
    maggs224posted 6 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 image60
    hillymillydeeposted 6 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.