Different from vs. Different than

How to use "different from" and "different than" correctly

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In most cases, the expression different than is considered nonstandard, even though it is very commonly used in American English:

my plan was different than his plan

my plan was different from his plan
mine was different from his
my plan differed from his

From is a preposition and should be used before a noun or pronoun. This is the most common sentence pattern, so different from is usually correct. Than is a conjunction, so it should only be used before a clause (a group of words with a subject and a verb), not before just a noun or pronoun:

his plan was different than I thought
saw things differently than I did

different from what I expected

In the last example, the pronoun what is the object of the preposition from, so from is correct.

Related Resources

Common Errors in English Usage: Errors in diction and idiom commonly made by native speakers of English

List of Common Errors in English Usage (PDF): Printable version of the complete list

Common Grammar Errors: A list of common errors in grammar (topics like subject-verb agreement and parallelism) as distinct from usage

List of Common Errors in English Usage: PDF version

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