The usage of from and than
I guess I have two questions today because I just thought of another one. What about different from and different than? For example: Though they are identical, the twins act very differently than each other. Though they are identical, the twins act very differently from each other. I am different from the rest of the employees. I am different than the rest of the employees. I am leaning towards than because it is a comparison word, and from is a direction word.
Traditionally, you need to ask yourself if what follows "different than" or "different from" is a phrase or a clause:
If it is a word or phrase, use different than.
If it is a clause, use different from.
In this case, you instinct was correct since every single example you gave was followed by a word or phrase and not a clause.
There are a couple of reasons that the sentences sound awkward, and this is best addressed by assessing the functions you used.
"act very differently than each other"
act- main verb
very- adverb modifying an adverb modifying a verb
differently- adverb modifying a verb
than each other- prepositional phrase acting as an adverb modifying an adverb modifying a verb
As you can see, you added way too many obfuscating modifiers to your verb.
Clarify by taking unnecessarily voluble adverbs out:
The twins act differently.
|link comment||edited Aug 31 '13 at 16:13 Aaron Prejean Expert|
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