It is a system of sending messages electronically from one computer to
Which one is correct and why?
I consider that "another" is the right answer; however, my student said that why we cannot say that from one computer to "others", because nowadays we can send an e-mail to many friends at the same time.
I can't say that 'one computer to others' bothers me greatly.
Consequently, we can use"one computer to others" depending on dialetic situation, can't we?
In terms of Standard English--the English students are tested on--it's ungrammatical. 'another' is the best choice given the test question.
another is reciprocal in this context:
EX: Email is sent from one computer to another (computer) and then back again.
other is not reciprocal,
EX: from one computer to other computers.
The basic statement is that email is sent to other computers; whether its sent back is not part of the statement: reciprocity is not part of the meaning of 'other'.
But, and as others have noted, 'from one computer to others' sounds OK, because we know that email is itself a reciprocal process, so we can add the meaning of reciprocity to the basic statement by drawing on our knowledge of the world.
EX: Email is sent from one computer to others.
'others' is not reciprocal but email is itself a reciprocal process, so the sentence sounds OK.
In sum, even though native speakers find no fault with 'one computer to others', in terms of grammar, notably semantics, as well as properties of parallel structures, 'others' is not the best answer for the test question we are dealing with. :wink: