Dear Users,

I don't think I've ever been able to fully grasp the subtle difference between different than/to/from. Back in the day, when I was at high-school, we were taught to use than most of the time and from was actually considered as a mistake. In the following video

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at 13:01, the question asked is: How does the process differ from that to making a Black Sabbath record.



Would it be OK to say:

1) How is that process different from that of making...

2) How is that process different than that of making...

3) How is that process different to that of making...


Thanks

If someone has a spare minute or two to have a look at this thread, I'd be most obliged for any and all answers Emotion: smile

Perfect StrangerWould it be OK to say:1) How is that process different from that of making...2) How is that process different than that of making...3) How is that process different to that of making...

As far as I am concerned, they are all fine. Your question reminds me of the days I was a student of English Philology at Helsinki University a long time ago. The students were given a few sentences that we had to translate from Finnish into English.

I had written: His hat was tilted in a different direction from his head. The native lecturer checking our answers said it was wrong, and to should be used instead of from.

A couple of weeks later I had to change groups owing to reasons beyond my control, and we were given the same homework. I had to translate the very same sentences again. I handed in the version corrected by my previous native teacher. My new native teacher marked my previous teacher's English as 'Good Plus', not 'Excellent', let alone 'Phenomenal'. 😁

One of the "mistakes" was the preposition, which now had to be from.

CB

Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies

The simple answer is that "different" most commonly takes "from", though it can also take "to".

I would avoid "than". You will encounter it, but strictly speaking it's incorrect since it is used in comparative phrases and clauses, whereas "from" and "to" are not.

If in doubt, stick with "from" and you can't go wrong.


See here:

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=different+from%2Cdifferent+to%2Cdifferent+than&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=18&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cdifferent%20from%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cdifferent%20to%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cdifferent%20than%3B%2Cc0#t1%3B%2Cdifferent%20from%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cdifferent%20to%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cdifferent%20than%3B%2Cc0