Different to

dogGeorg Muntingh, winner of the first syntax contest on this blog, alerted me that British English allows the following construction for comparisons:

There are many British words which are different to American words.

Different to looks odd to me!

Georg also sent me a link that offers some interesting details about different from, different than, and different to: http://www.bartleby.com/68/37/1837.html.


Tara Treasurefield

Treasurefield Communications


About 123clear

I translate foggy information into plain English.
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2 Responses to Different to

  1. almarose says:

    The British also make lavish use of plural modifiers. Constructions such as “antiques shops” are spreading throughout the English-speaking world. Of course, we have always, in the U.S., written of “women astronauts,” though we would never paraphrase the phrase as “females astronauts,” nor do we have “windows washers.” There once was “Boys’ Town,” but it has become “Boys Town,” just as we have the Steamfitters Union, and so forth. Not all these examples are parallel, strictly speaking. One could make a case for “antiques shops” being shorthand for “shops of antiques,” but then the case would be equally strong for “windows washers.”
    I don’t buy it. Whether the modifier is a mutant possessive (Boys Town) or an abbreviated prepositional phrase (antiques shops) or just plain sloppy (women astronauts), it should still be, in English, uninflected with respect to gender (with rare exceptions, such as “a blonde woman”) and number.
    Or so it seems to me. Do you agree? –Mary
    P.S. I have linked to your blog on http://writingqueen.wordpress.com.

  2. 123clear says:


    I use “antiques shop,” not “antique shop,” to avoid creating the image of a shop that is very, very old.


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