# Can I say “No other mountains in Europe are higher than Mont Blanc”?

In my text book there is a sentence

No other mountain in Europe is higher than Mont Blanc.

Can it be paraphrased as

No other mountains in Europe are higher than Mont Blanc.

?

If so, is there any difference in the meaning between them?

• Let P=the property of being higher than Mont Blanc. Let E=the set of European mountains excluding Mont Blanc. The first says that there does not exist M in E such that M has P. The second says that all M in E do not have P. The rule for negating quantified statements says the two sentences mean the same thing. – deadrat Feb 21 '16 at 7:05
• This is off-topic, but the highest mountain in Europe is usually considered to be Mount Elbrus in the Caucasus Mountains {Wikipedia}. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 21 '16 at 16:44

If Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in Europe, one compact way to say that all other mountains in Europe are lower than Mont Blanc (following the general wording that appears in the OP's examples, which means not simply saying "Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in Europe") is

No other mountain in Europe is as high as Mont Blanc.

The sense of the phrase "No other mountain" here is "No mountain other than Mont Blanc, which (of course) is as high as itself."

On the other hand, if Mont Blanc and Mount Prunella are of equal height, and are the highest mountains in Europe, you could say

No mountain in Europe is higher than Mont Blanc [or Mount Prunella].

The implicit point here is that Mont Blanc and Mount Prunella are as high as each other and are higher than all other European mountains.

On the third hand, if Mount Prunella is situated in Europe and is higher than Mont Blanc, but every other mountain in Europe is lower than those two, you could say (alluding to Mount Prunella)

No other mountain in Europe is higher than Mont Blanc.

The sense of the phrase "No other mountain" here is "No mountain other than Mount Prunella, which is higher."

On the fourth hand, if Mount Prunella, Mount Augusta, Mount Chloris, and Mount Splendora all are in Europe and all are higher than Mont Blanc, but every other mountain in Europe is lower than Mont Blanc, you might say (alluding to all four higher mountains)

No other mountains in Europe are higher than Mont Blanc.

The sense of the phrase "No other mountains" here is "No mountains other than Mount Prunella, Mount Augusta, Mount Chloris, and Mount Splendora, which are higher."

In all of these instances the wording reflects a particular relationship between Mont Blanc and other specified and unspecified mountains in Europe. In everyday speech (and in much writing), however, no such precision attends the expression of these ideas, and you might very well hear (or see) one or the other of the wordings identified by the OP being used to convey the idea that "Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in Europe."

• Could you explain why "mountain" in your third example is singular while "mountain" in your fourth example is plural? – Aki Feb 21 '16 at 11:18
• The two wordings are interchangeable in those examples, Aki. I arbitrarily chose the singular no other mountain to go with the scenario where just one mountain is higher than Mont Blanc, and the plural no other mountains to go with the scenario where four mountains are higher. A person might choose the singular or plural form to match the number of the mountains that he or she most recently had in mind. But any such rationale appeals only to an associative effect, not to a syntactical or grammatical rule. You can use no other mountain or no other mountains in either situation. – Sven Yargs Feb 21 '16 at 11:29
• " A person might choose the singular or plural form to match the number of the mountains that he or she most recently had in mind." interesting! Thank you. – Aki Feb 21 '16 at 11:37

You may say either form ! However, the first one is more accurate & appropriate. Because there is not even one mountain higher in Europe than Mont Blanc ; a fortiori this proposition is valid for 2 & more - all ! - mountains in Europe...