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  1. #1
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    "another" or "others"

    Dear All,

    My student asked me a question like this.

    It is a system of sending messages electronically from one computer to
    (1) another
    (2) others.

    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.

    What are your opinions?

    Thanks a lot for your kind assistance.

    Best Regards,
    Cicily from Taiwan

  2. #2
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    Re: "another" or "others"

    from computer to computer. :D
    (Both are nouns)

    from one computer to another computer. :D
    (Both are adjective+noun)

    from one computer to another. :D
    The noun 'computer' has been omitted, but that's OK because it can be picked up from the context. Note that, "another" means, same as previously mentioned). :wink:

    from one computer to other computers. :D
    (Both are adjective+noun)

    from one computer to others. :(
    (Not OK. ''others" refers to what has not been previously mentioned. So, in this context, 'others' cannot/does not refer to 'computers'.)

    All the best, :D

  3. #3
    Natalie27 Guest

    Re: "another" or "others"

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    from computer to computer. :D
    (Both are nouns)

    from one computer to another computer. :D
    (Both are adjective+noun)

    from one computer to another. :D
    The noun 'computer' has been omitted, but that's OK because it can be picked up from the context. Note that, "another" means, same as previously mentioned). :wink:

    from one computer to other computers. :D
    (Both are adjective+noun)

    from one computer to others. :(
    (Not OK. ''others" refers to what has not been previously mentioned. So, in this context, 'others' cannot/does not refer to 'computers'.)

    All the best, :D

    I think all the forms are correct.
    what about a sentence:
    Bugs spread from one comuter to others very quickly.

    Same idea, same logic. The sentence sounds good to me... :wink:

  4. #4
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    Re: "another" or "others"

    Quote Originally Posted by Natalie27
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    from one computer to others. :(
    (Not OK. ''others" refers to what has not been previously mentioned. So, in this context, 'others' cannot/does not refer to 'computers'.)
    What about?
    Bugs spread from one computer to others very quickly.

    Same idea, same logic. The sentence sounds good to me... :wink:
    Well, it's ungrammatical nonetheless. :wink: But :D, that's not to say it'd be deemed "unacceptable" by all, especially given differences in dialect and idiolect.

    All the best, :D

  5. #5
    Natalie27 Guest

    Re: "another" or "others"

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Quote Originally Posted by Natalie27
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    from one computer to others. :(
    (Not OK. ''others" refers to what has not been previously mentioned. So, in this context, 'others' cannot/does not refer to 'computers'.)
    What about?
    Bugs spread from one computer to others very quickly.

    Same idea, same logic. The sentence sounds good to me... :wink:
    Well, it's ungrammatical nonetheless. :wink: But :D, that's not to say it'd be deemed "unacceptable" by all, especially given differences in dialect and idiolect.

    All the best, :D
    Thank you, Cas!

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
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    I can't say that 'one computer to others' bothers me greatly.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I can't say that 'one computer to others' bothers me greatly.
    Consequently,we can use"one computer to others" depends on dialetic situation, can't we?


    Best regards,
    :) Cicily

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cicily21
    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    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?


    Best regards,
    :) Cicily
    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:

    All the best, :D

  9. #9
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    Re: "another" or "others"

    Quote Originally Posted by Natalie27
    Thank you, Cas!
    You're welcome.

    What you find here,
    is also there;
    and what is not here,
    is nowhere.
    --A Tantra

    All the best, :D

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