The words ‘Except’ and ‘Other than’ are used to convey that something is excluded from a general sentence. Both the words sound similar in meaning because one is a synonym of the other.
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 conjunction, their meaning changes slightly. The placement of the words within the sentence varies too.
‘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 on an object beside the others already mentioned in the sentence.
Comparison Table Between Except and Other Than (in Tabular Form)
|Parameters of comparison||Except||Other than|
|Form||It exists in 3 different forms – Conjunction, preposition, and as a verb.||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 that are different from the object at hand.|
|Grammatical usage (2)||‘Except’ is a conjunction, it is used to differentiate between objects of a sentence. ‘Except’ is a verb, it is used to not include the object 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, pass over.||Besides, apart from, but.|
What is meant by Except?
The word ‘Except’ is present in grammatical nature as three different forms, namely –
When used as a preposition, ‘Except’ must be followed by a noun instead of a phrase. It keeps the same meaning of ‘not to include something or someone’ or as ‘but not’, but the way it is used changes with the structure of the sentence.
Here, we notice that 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 is. In some cases, when ‘Except’ is conjunction, then it can mean to ‘differentiate between two given objects in a sentence.’
Here, the synonyms of the word ‘Except’ in the conjunctive form are ‘aside from’, besides etc. Also, as it is present 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 plain and simple means to ‘not include someone or something’. It is not commonly found in this form as it was mostly used in old English.
Example – “ After my mishap in the project, I was excepted from receiving the promotion.”
What is meant by Other Than?
The word ‘Other than’ is a derivative of the word ‘Except’, and can mean ‘to provide an exception for the object in focus’. The term is present in grammatical nature as 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’. So, it means to ask for examples that are different from the object in focus.
This form of ‘Other than’ is present as a synonym of ‘except’ and is derived from it as well.
- “Other than reading books all day, Harry doesn’t do much else with his free time.”
- When going through his old things, he was hoping to find anything valuable other than just dust.”
When the word is used in conjunction form within 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 proper 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 conjunction.
- ‘Except’ on its own can be used to 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 objects of the sentence. ‘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 synonyms of ‘Other than’ are besides, apart from, but, etc.
The words ‘Except’ and ‘Other than’ have similar meanings when looked at objectively. They both mean ‘to not include’, but as their morphological nature changes, the sense of the words change as well. Even the context, as well as the given sentence, changes the meaning of ‘except’ to ‘differentiating between objects’.
‘Other than’ also changes its meaning from ‘providing an exception’ to ‘looking for different viable options’ depending on whether it is a preposition or a conjunction.