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Different than/from
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Sanjeev Bedi
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President Obama said in the second Presidential debate: There are some things where Governor Romney is different from George Bush.


Rachel Maddow said analyzing the debate: The Republicans would have to come up with some explanation for how Mitt Romney would be different than Bush.


Who is correct?


I think Rachel needs to brush up on her grammar a little bit.


If we are simply comparing two objects, like in the above constructions, then “from” is preferable and “than” doesn’t seem proper. “Than” would have been okay in the second sentence had Rachel said: The Republicans would have to come up with some explanation about why they believe things under Mitt Romney would be different than Bush.


“Bush” here is a clause, the ellipsis being “they were under.”





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