I came upon this sentence in an English magazine:

"We might want DIFFERENT things for ourselves THAN our parents do."

I'm pretty sure this is not correct. Shouldn't we always use "FROM" after "different?" However, using "from" to replace "than" in this sentence dosen't seem right. How should I rephrase it?

My gratitude in advance.
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Here is my humble opinion.

In standard English 'different from' is preferred to 'different than.' Good writers suggest using the former in formal writing. In reality, however, 'different than' is often used. I personally label it as substandard.

In your example sentence, as you stated, 'from' is not a good candidate as a substitute for 'than.' I would like to suggest 'from what they do.'
"different than" is not correct, since "than" is used with comparatives.
I have a feeling the sentence from the magazine isn't either, I mean in the construction.
It could be as follows:
The things we want for ourselves may be different from those our parents want.
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I was taught "different from" is BrE and "different than" in AmE.
Is that the case?
The phrases different from and different than are both common in British and American English. The British also use the construction different to. Since the 18th century, language critics have singled out different than as incorrect, though it is well attested in the works of reputable writers. If you want to follow traditional guidelines, use from when the comparison is between two persons or things: My book is different from (not than) yours. Different than is more acceptably used, particularly in American usage, where the object of comparison is expressed by a full clause: The campus is different than it was twenty years ago. You can use different from with a clause if the clause starts with a conjunction and so functions as a noun: The campus is different from how it was twenty years ago.
Sometimes people interpret a simple noun phrase following different than as elliptical for a clause, which allows for a subtle distinction in meaning between the two constructions. How different this seems from Paris suggests that the object of comparison is the city of Paris itself, whereas How different this seems than Paris suggests that the object of comparison is something like “the way things were in Paris” or “what happened in Paris.”
bartleby got the answer.Emotion: smile
Hello Extravaganza

When I was a college student, I read a bibliography of Kemal Pasha "Le Loup Gris" in French (I'm sorry I forgot the author's name).


[PS] Oops! I posted this in a wrong thread!
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Or shall I say "different than" is non-standard? It is used, of course, but the standard form is "different from"
Is 'different than' non-standard in AmE? Or is it now accepted?

You hear it quite often in BrE. 'Comparison' is the basis of 'difference', so perhaps it's more reasonable than it seems.


I was taught in school we should not use "different than". But now I am getting inclined to believe "different than" is not so bad. I feel "different than" is more versatile in use than "different from" because the latter should be followed by a noun phrase.

OED says about this issue in the entries of "different" and "than" as follows.

1. Having characters or qualities which diverge from one another; having unlike or distinguishing attributes; not of the same kind; not alike; of other nature, form, or quality. It was construed with "from"; also "to", "than", "against", and "with". [Note] The usual construction is now with "from"; that with "to" (after unlike, dissimilar to) is found in writers of all ages, and is frequent colloquially, but is by many considered incorrect. The construction with "than" (after other than), is found in Fuller, Addison, Steele, De Foe, Richardson, Goldsmith, Miss Burney, Coleridge, Southey, De Quincey, Carlyle, Thackeray, Newman, Trench, and Dasent, among others.
[1526] His light is much different and unlike to the light of the holy ghost. [1588] If they could write any other language that were different to theirs. [1590] This week he has been much different from the man he was. [1603] Oh, my dear Grissil, how much different art thou to this cursed spirit here! [1624] Humane wisdom, different against the divine will, is vain and contemptible. [1644] We make use of them in a quite different manner then we did in the beginning. [1649] She (=hatred) has this of different with love, that she is much more sensible. [1711] Tunes different from anything I had ever heard. [1737] It's quite a different thing within to what it is without. [1769] The consuls had been elected for very different merits than those of skill in war. [1790] The different prosperity of the country which they conquered with that of the countries under English rule. [1848] It has possessed me in a different way than ever before. [1852] The party of prisoners lived with comforts very different to those which were awarded to the poor wretches there. [1861] Warehouses and wharves no way different from those on either side of them.

2. "Than" is regularly used after other, else, and their compounds (another, otherwise, elsewhere, etc.). Hence sometimes after adjjectives or adverbs of similar meaning to ‘other’, as different, diverse, opposite, and after Latin comparatives, as inferior, junior: usually with clause following. Now it is mostly avoided. [Note] Different(ly) than is not uncommon, especially in the U.S., but continues to be regarded by many as incorrect.
[ca.1400] They had also diverse clothings than other folks had. [1566] If the lord of Mendozza were inferior in quality, nobility, and goods than he is. [1642] He was now made overseer of the building a much inferior place than the other. [1754] They employ their wealth to quite opposite purposes than were intended. [1822] Such a design has a right to a far different head than mine. [1857] Things were conducted very differently now than in former times. [1902] (Question) How about the following sentence? "Unless the London members behave differently about the bill for London than the country members about the bill for the country, reasons for postponement and consideration will begin to look weighty." If "than" is excluded, how is it to be said? (Answer) Put "otherwise" for "differently", and retain "than". [1912] It's different with me than with other girls. [1962] Both come from a different world than the housing estate outside London. [1970] Geoffrey and Erasmus are concerned with classifying metaphors along quite different lines than is Quintilian. [1980] Mule deer bucks behave differently than whitetails in a few other ways.

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