Different to, different than or different from? A British and American Difference

Should you say different to or different than? Or should you say different from? In this short video you’ll learn what we say in British and American English.

Click here to see more British and American differences
Click here to learn how to use the prepositions for and to

Different to, different than or different from?

How do we use to and than when we’re comparing things?
Now this was a question we had from Sohan Pandy. Do we say different to or different than?
Or do we say something else? Let’s find out.

Hi everyone, I’m Vicki.
And I’m Jay.
Jay looks different from normal because he has a moustache today
Do you want one too?
Yes,
Here you go.

Did you notice what preposition I used after different? I said from. If you’re wondering what preposition to use, say from. It’s what we normally say.
Different to and different than are also possible and they mean the same thing. They’re just not very common.

Your moustache is bigger. It’s different to mine.
You mean it’s different than mine.
No. You see, there’s a British and American difference here.
So British English is different than American
No, British English is different to American.

‘Different to’ and ‘different than’ mean the same thing. It’s just we say ‘to’ in British English and ‘than’ in American. But in both varieties we usually say from.
I’m American and ‘different to’ sounds strange to me.
Yes, it’s more common in British English. And ‘different than’ sounds wrong to me, because I’m British.
Except it’s correct in American. But usually we say ‘different from’.
Yes, so say different from. It’s what we normally say and you can’t go wrong.
And that’s it for this week. Make sure you tune in next Friday for another English lesson and don’t forget to subscribe.
Click here to see more British and American differences
Click here to learn how to use the prepositions for and to

2 thoughts on “Different to, different than or different from? A British and American Difference

  • January 22, 2018 at 4:57 am
    Permalink

    A most enlightening video, from which I learnt so much! I thought “different to” and “different than” were both American. I also noticed Americans wear “mustaches”, not “moustaches”. And I have always thought American is different from British!

    Reply
    • January 22, 2018 at 5:43 am
      Permalink

      So glad you liked the video Efrossini and well done for spotting the different spellings of moustache in British and American English. You might be interested to hear that We use the word in the singular these days. I know some dictionaries still list it as a plural word (it was in the 19th century) but it’s singular in modern English. Thanks so much for writing and your kind comment. Much appreciated.

      Reply

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