Many learners of English (and native speakers!) want to know which expression is correct: different than, different from or different to. In this post, we will look at these confusing phrases.
In practice, different from is most common among native speakers. It is used in both American and British English.
He is a lot different from his sister.
If you search for “different from” in Google, you will find over 170 million results.
In American English, different than is often used instead of different from. However, some authors and grammar experts avoid using this expression as the word than is normally used in comparative structures (e.g. His new film is more interesting than his previous film). In comparative structures, we talk about the degree of difference between two things, not whether one thing is absolutely different.
However, there are some types of sentences in which you must use different than, for example where you are linking two sentences:
It is no different for me than it is for you.
If you search for “different than” in Google, you will find about 60 million results.
In British English, different to is used more often than in American English:
He is a lot different to his sister.
If you search for “different to” in Google, you will find over 27 million results.