The words ‘Except’ and ‘Other than’ convey that something is excluded from a general sentence. Both words sound similar in meaning because one is a synonym for the other.
- Except is a preposition or conjunction used to indicate exclusion or exception; other than is a preposition that means different from, distinct, or beside.
- Except emphasizes the exclusion or exception of a specific item or group, other than highlighting a difference or distinction between items or groups.
- Both except and other than convey contrast, but except focuses on exclusion or exception, while other than emphasizes difference or distinction.
Except vs Other Than
The difference between Except and Other than is in grammatical usage. The sentence formation matters, and when both ‘Except’ and ‘Other than’ are in conjunction, their meaning changes slightly. The placement of the words within the sentence varies too.
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‘Except’ can be used to ‘not include a particular object or person’. You can also use it in a sentence when differentiating between two objects.
‘Other than’ is a derivative of except and is defined as “providing an exception”. ‘Other than’ is also used to emphasise an object beside the others already mentioned in the sentence.
|Parameters of comparison||Except||Other than|
|Form||It exists in 3 states – Conjunction, preposition, and as verbs.||It exists in 2 different forms – Conjunction and preposition.|
|Grammatical usage (1)||When used as a preposition, it is to be followed by a noun. When conjunction, it must be accompanied by a clause.||When used as a preposition, it asks for examples different from the object.|
|Grammatical usage (2)||‘Except’ is a conjunction used to differentiate between objects of a sentence. ‘Except’ is a verb; it is used not to include the thing from the sentence.||When ‘Other than’ is a conjunction, one can use it to provide one option, besides which no other option is accepted.|
|Example||“Henry and John are brothers, except Henry is the older of the two.”||“Nothing can help you pass your exams other than studying hard from the beginning.”|
|Synonyms||Excluding, omitting, passing over.||Besides, apart from, but.|
What is meant by Except?
The word ‘Except’ is present in grammatical nature in three different forms, namely –
When used as a preposition, ‘Except’ must be followed by a noun instead of a phrase. It keeps the exact meaning of ‘not to include something or someone’ or ‘but not’, but the way it is used changes with the structure of the sentence.
Here, the synonyms are ‘apart from’, ‘but’, and ‘Other than’. This is where the meaning of ‘Other than’ is derived from.
- “Do you sell any juices except mango?”
- “Everyone arrived for the meeting except Mike.”
The form of the word used depends on how the general flow of the structure. Sometimes, when ‘Except’ is a conjunction, it can mean to ‘differentiate between two given objects in a sentence.’
Here, the synonyms of ‘Except’ in the conjunctive form are ‘aside from’, besides etc. Also, as a conjunction, it must be accompanied by a phrase.
- “The newborns were twins, except one was a boy, and one was a girl.”
- “Both the assignments looked precisely the same, except one was the original and the other a copy.’
When except is a verb, it is plain and means to ‘not include someone or something’. It is not commonly found in this form as it was primarily used in old English.
Example – “ After my mishap in the project, I was excepted for receiving the promotion.”
What is meant by Other Than?
‘Other than’ is a derivative of ‘Except’ and can mean ‘to provide an exception for the object in focus’. The term is present in grammatical nature in two different forms, namely –
When the word is in preposition form when used in a sentence, firstly, it must be followed by a noun. Secondly, its meaning changes to ‘aside from or beside something’.
This form of ‘Other than’ is a synonym of ‘except’ and is derived from it.
- “Other than reading books all day, Harry doesn’t do much else with his free time.”
- When going through his old things, he hoped to find anything valuable besides dust.”
When the word is used with the sentence, it means to ‘not include something or someone along with the general statement.”
- “Nothing can help you pass your exams other than studying hard from the beginning.”
- “There will never be a cure to the common cold other than taking your medicines and waiting for seven days.”
Main Differences Between Except and Other Than
- ‘Except’ can be used in three forms, preposition, conjunction and verb, while ‘Other than’ can only be used as a preposition or a meeting.
- ‘Except’ can convey that something is ‘not included’. ‘Other than’ is a derivative of except and hence can be defined as providing an exception.
- ‘Except’, when used as a conjunction, can allow differentiating particular sentence objects. ‘Other than’ just means to exclude something from the general statement.
- One can use ‘Other than’ to ask for different options in a sentence as a preposition, while ‘Except’ cannot be used in that manner.
- The synonyms of except ( Excluding, omitting, pass over.) show us that except purely means to exclude. The ‘Other than’ synonyms are besides, apart from, but, etc.
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Emma Smith holds an MA degree in English from Irvine Valley College. She has been a Journalist since 2002, writing articles on the English language, Sports, and Law. Read more about me on her bio page.