Grammar and Punctuation The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Different From, Different Than

Different from is the standard phrase. Traditionalists obstinately avoid different than, especially in simple comparisons, such as You are different from me.

More-liberal linguists point out that a sentence like It is no different for men than it is for women is clear and concise, and rewriting it with different from could result in a clumsy clunker like It is no different for men from the way it is for women.

From Bergen and Cornelia Evans's Dictionary of Contemporary American Usage: "No one has any grounds for condemning others who would rather say different than, since this construction is used by some of the most sensitive writers of English and is in keeping with the fundamental structure of the language."

This does not mean that you should now write different than every chance you get. There may be nothing grammatically wrong with different than, but it remains polarizing. A is different than B comes across as sloppy to a lot of literate readers. If you can replace different than with different from without having to rewrite the rest of the sentence, why not do so?

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