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What part of speech is "another" in the following sentence?

In the early part of the modern English period the vocabulary was enlarged by the widespread use of one part of speech for another and by increased borrowings from other languages.

What does it mean? Can you tell me why another was used rather than other or the other?

I'm aware another is used for countable, singular nouns, but that doesn't illuminate for me why it was used in this sentence.

closed as off-topic by Dan Bron, Edwin Ashworth, Chenmunka, ScotM, Misti Jun 29 '15 at 19:34

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  • What did the dictionary say when you looked up these words for the exact meaning and usages of them? – Dan Bron Jun 26 '15 at 10:23
  • Almost the same meaning, that's why I am confused! – Sanjar Igamov Jun 26 '15 at 10:52
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    Please copy/paste the definitions of each of these three words into the body of your question (mention which dictionary you got them from), then describe how you see them comparing, and ask any further questions which remain for you. You're here to get the advice of experts in English; you should not be asking them to do the parts which you're capable of doing for yourself, such as quoting the dictionary. Show us you've put some effort in for yourself, and we'll gladly fill in the missing pieces. – Dan Bron Jun 26 '15 at 10:55
  • In the early part of the modern english period the vocabulary was enlarged by the widespread use of one part of speech for another and by increased borrowings from other languages. As I know another we use for countable singular nouns? – Sanjar Igamov Jun 26 '15 at 11:13
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    Ok, that is a specific, legitimate question. Give me a second, I'll edit your question so that it attracts answers. – Dan Bron Jun 26 '15 at 11:24
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another in this context is a pronoun. But it's closely related to the adjective sense of the word, because it's essentially short for another part of speech. When used as a pronoun, the meaning refers back to a previously mentioned thing or person, and it refers to additional things or people of the same type.

You would not use the other, because the definite article implies that there's only one, specific other thing that is being referenced. This would only be right if there were just two parts of speech, and one could be substituted for the other.

other is not generally used by itself as an adjective or pronoun, it needs a qualifier or article before it. I can't think of any way that it could fit into the given sentence.

  • Modern analysis puts 'another' when premodifying a noun (phrase) as a determiner (specifying the referent's 'place' in the universe rather than any inherent property): We use the general determiner another to talk about an additional person or thing: Would you like another glass of wine? [ British Council._Learn English ] – Edwin Ashworth Jun 26 '15 at 14:14
  • I checked several online dictionaries, they all classed it as an adjective. I think a determiner is a kind of adjective. – Barmar Jun 26 '15 at 14:15
  • ODO, CDO and Collins have shaken off the shackles. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 26 '15 at 14:17
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While I'm not sure of any differentiation between "other" and "the other", I would say that the difference between "another" and "other" is the difference between "additional", and an exclusive choice.

I've had one dessert but want another. (an additional dessert) You can have this for dessert or the other choice. (the choice is between the two, both is not an option)

EDITED for the updated question: In the sentance provided, there is an omitted but implied bit. Read "one part of speech for another" as meaning "one part of speech for another part of speech", implying parts are being interchanged. So, to go with my original thought, you have one part of speech and this part of speech is also being used in an additional part.

If you were to flesh out that sentence for more clarity, read it as:

In the early part of the modern English period the vocabulary was enlarged by the widespread use of one part of speech for another part of speech, and also by increased borrowings from other languages.

  • After a little dialog with OP in the comments, he's made his specific question much clearer. You may wish to edit your answer to reflect the updated question. – Dan Bron Jun 26 '15 at 11:29

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