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Hi,

I'm Andrea. I'm from the Philippines and I have been teaching English for Korean students for 4 years now. And I'd like to enrich my knowledge further. I have looked up several books/ references but I still couldn't figure this out. Emotion: sad

We all know that "different from" is the correct ussage like when we say:

The house is different from when I last saw it.

Your hair is different from mine.

However, I have come across a book which said, " He is of different religion than her." Now would this be just technical error or would this sentence be possible.. please help.
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As far as I know, "different than" is very common in the US, and I think it's considered correct since it's widely used. My dictionary for learners (Longman) gives "different than" as a pattern and gives some examples, but says it's part of American English, so it must be acceptable there. I hear it very often used that way.
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The only thing people agree on seems to be that different from is correct. As Kooyeen said, different than is common in the USA. Different to is used in Britain. This is what the Random House Unabridged Dictionary says about different:

Usage. Although it is frequently claimed that DIFFERENT should be followed only by FROM, not by THAN, in actual usage both words occur and have for at least 300 years. FROM is more common today in introducing a phrase, but THAN is also used: New York speech is different from (or than) that of Chicago. THAN is used to introduce a clause: The stream followed a different course than the map showed. In sentences of this type, FROM is sometimes used instead of THAN; when it is, more words are necessary: a different course from the one the map showed. Regardless of the sentence construction, both FROM and THAN are standard after DIFFERENT in all varieties of spoken and written American English. In British English TO frequently follows DIFFERENT: The early illustrations are very different to the later ones.

Collins Concise Dictionary also mentions different to but says that some people object to it.

CB
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Comments  
I think you are correct. "He is of a different religion than her" is incorrect. It means "her" is a religion, which is not what is meant.
"different from" is the correct form.
However, you may hear or read "different to" which is incorrect but is used by many. It would be nice to try and keep the correct form.
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WOW! thank you so much..Thanks Jeannie, Kooyeen and Cool Breeze.. your answers helped me a lot..!!
My co-teachers are now very interested in joining the forum. I'm looking forward to our further discussions