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different ways from he vs from how he and those of his
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I am going to make up two sentences with the phrase "different ways".

(1) You analyze the issue in a different way from he (or how he does).

(2) My uncle, an experienced retail manager, has different ways of dealing with difficult customers from his inexperienced colleague (or those of his inexperienced colleague).

My non-native English speaking friends and I learn English from one another. Some of them think the original sentences are correct. However, others think the last few words in each sentence should be replaced by revisions in brackets. Please give us your opinion. Thanks a lot.
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1) You analyze the issue in a different way TO HIM.

/ a different way to how he does).: redundant

(2) My uncle, an experienced retail manager, has different ways of dealing with difficult customers from his inexperienced colleague.

(or those of his inexperienced colleague).: redundant.
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Ansonman,

Thank you for your question.

I'd like to address a couple of matters of style that can make multiple examples like this easier for us to understand and answer.

In your example (1), the words "how he does" appear to be meant to substitute for some word or phrase in the original sentence. To make it clear that it is just the word "he", you can write:
    You analyze the issue in a different way from (he/how he does).
Otherwise, it would be possible to interpret the intended alternative to be:
    You analyze the issue in a different way how he does.
Similarly, in (2), you appear to want the choice to be (his inexperienced colleague/those of his inexperienced colleague), but the way you have it allows the interpretation:
    My uncle, an experienced retail manager, has different ways of dealing with those of his inexperienced colleague.

What helps even more, especially when you have several sentences with several variations each, is to index them like this:

(1a) You analyze the issue in a different way from he.
(1b) You analyze the issue in a different way from how he does.

(2a) My uncle, an experienced retail manager, has different ways of dealing with difficult customers from his inexperienced colleague.
(2b) My uncle, an experienced retail manager, has different ways of dealing with difficult customers from those of his inexperienced colleague.

This makes it easier for us to make comments about each variation, if need be.

And so to your question.

There are several problems with (1a). First of all, "from" is a preposition, which means it must have a substantive (a noun, a noun phrase, a pronoun, etc) as an object. If it's a pronoun, it has to be object case, thus "him" rather than "he". Hence:

*(1a') You analyze the issue in a different way from him.

(Note that I'm using prime symbol (') to indicate a proposed variation on (1a). The asterisk (*) indicates that I still find the sentence incorrect.)

Although this sentence could possibly be said to be grammatically acceptable, it is syntactically nonsensical. The two things that are being compared are the "way" and "him". Of course they are different.

This works better:

(1a'') You analyze the issue in a different way from his.

The reason this almost works is because of an ellipsis: we understand "his" to mean "his way", which is a noun phrase that qualifies to be the object of the preposition "from"; also, we now have like things being compared: your way of analyzing the issue vs his way. It almost works. But it still doesn't sound quite right.

I find (1b) perfectly grammatical and comprehensible. The clause "how he does" can be substantive (for example, as the subject of a sentence):
    You analyze the issue in your own way. How he does is not my concern.
So "how he does" works as the object of the preposition "from", as well. But still, something doesn't sit well.

The problem appears to be in the positioning of "way". This seems to want an unnatural comparison of a verb phrase to a noun phrase. Since the focus of the main clause is the action verb, it sounds more natural if it is compared to another verb. This requires exchanging the preposition "from" for the conjunction "than":

(1c) You analyze the issue in a different way than he does.
(1d) You analyze the issue differently than he does.

In both (1c) and (1d), the word "does" can be elided, but I like leaving it in.

We could also change the focus of comparison to a noun form:

(1n) Your analysis of the issue is different from his.

To me, though, this changes the meaning of the sentence entirely. All of your examples and all of mine but the last are speaking of the differences between two people's methods or processes of analyzing an issue, where my final (1n) is more likely to be understood to mean the final results.

Now, Ansonman, I need to ask a huge favor. I've spent a great deal of time writing this, and I hope that my answers so far have been of help to you and your friends. Please share my answers with your friends and post a reply to this thread showing how you think I would address (2a) and (2b).

I hope my colleagues David and Gustavo will also weigh in on this issue. They analyze the issue in a different way from how I do.
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quote:
I hope my colleagues David and Gustavo will also weigh in on this issue. They analyze the issue in a different way from how I do.


I couldn't possibly have analyzed it better than you did. Smile
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Thank you so much, DocV, for your detailed explanation. I now understand the usage of "different ways" better. Using your logic, I will attempt to explain my second set of sentences.

I believe that (2a) sounds odd because I am mistakenly comparing my uncle's ways of doing things with the object of the preposition "his inexperienced colleagues". However, I can revise it slightly to make it grammatically acceptable as shown below.

(2aa) My uncle, an experienced retail manager, has different ways of .... from HOW his inexperienced colleague.

Regarding (2b), even though we are comparing the ways they deal with customers, our main focus is on the individuals who do the action of dealing with the customers. So, I need to modify the phrase at the end as follows.

(2bb) My uncle, an experienced retail manager, has different ways ... THAN his inexperienced colleagues do.

DocV, may I hear your feedback on my explanation? Thanks a lot.
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Ansonman,

First, I want to thank you for following up on my request. I hope you were also able to discuss this with the friends you spoke of.

Second, I really like what you did with the indexing. While I might have used (2a') to indicate a rephrasing of (2a), you use (2aa). The difference of styles, at least on this thread, allow us and anyone else who happens to be reading to distinguish at a glance between your revisions and mine. Now, if I choose, I can revise (2aa) into several versions of my own: (2aa'), (2aa''), (2aa'''), etc. If you strongly disagree with my (2aa''), you can suggest alternatives (2aa''a), (2aa''b), etc. I hope it never comes to that (in this thread, at least), but the concept is brilliant.

Third,
quote:
They analyze the issue in a different way from how I do.
I hope that you, Ansonman (et tu, Gustave), understand that this was meant as a joke. It is a rephrasing of (1b), and, as I said of (1b), it is perfectly grammatical and comprehensible, but doesn't quite sit well, and I would not normally say it.

Fourth, I now see that the differences between (1a) and (1b) are not at all the same as the differences between (2a) and (2b), but let's see what we've got.

Oh yeah. Fifth. In all of our earlier examples, we used the singular "colleague". In your latest post, you switch between the singular and the plural. I'm going to stick to addressing the singular for now, and possibly address the plural later.

Sixth: Wait, you had a question? Let's get to that, shall we?
quote:
(2a) My uncle, an experienced retail manager, has different ways of dealing with difficult customers from his inexperienced colleague.
quote:
I believe that (2a) sounds odd because I am mistakenly comparing my uncle's ways of doing things with the object of the preposition "his inexperienced colleagues".
This is true. In addition, the wording could also imply that the colleague actually sent the difficult customers to your uncle ("difficult customers from his inexperienced colleague").
quote:
However, I can revise it slightly to make it grammatically acceptable as shown below.
quote:
(2aa) My uncle, an experienced retail manager, has different ways of .... from HOW his inexperienced colleague.
quote:
(2aa, expanded version) My uncle, an experienced retail manager, has different ways of dealing with difficult customers from HOW his inexperienced colleague.
You're on the right track. The main problem here is that the phrase "how his inexperienced colleague" lacks a verb (the verb cannot be elided here) and therefore is not a clause. If we add the verb "does", we get something very similar in structure to (1b):
    (2aa') My uncle, an experienced retail manager, has different ways of dealing with difficult customers from how his inexperienced colleague does.
I will say the same about this sentence that I did about (1b), which is that it is grammatical and comprehensible, but doesn't quite sit well, and for the same reason.
quote:
Regarding (2b), even though we are comparing the ways they deal with customers, our main focus is on the individuals who do the action of dealing with the customers.
You're very close. One thing that you are missing is that "those [ways] of his inexperienced colleague" is a perfectly valid substantive phrase, suitable to be the object of the preposition "from", which means that (2b) is grammatically correct and easily understood. Could it be worded better? I think so, especially if you are doing a formal speech or some formal writing.
quote:
(2bb') My uncle, an experienced retail manager, has different ways of dealing with difficult customers than his inexperienced colleague does.
The conjunction "than" joins two complete clauses for comparison, but since the word "does" refers to, and in fact restates, the entire verb phrase "has different ways of dealing with difficult customers", the focus is indeed, as you say, on the individuals who do the action of dealing with the customers.

Seventh: HOW MANY COLLEAGUES?? If there are more than one, just change "colleague does" to "colleagues do":
    (2bb'') My uncle, an experienced retail manager, has different ways of dealing with difficult customers than his inexperienced colleagues do.
So, in my mind, (2aa') and (2b) are both acceptable, but (2bb') and (2bb'') are the best versions. It is worth noting that the words "does" and "do", respectively, can be elided:
    (2bb''') My uncle, an experienced retail manager, has different ways of dealing with difficult customers than his inexperienced colleague(s).
but this creates the possibility of an ambiguous interpretation. The sentence can be understood to mean:
    (2bb'''') My uncle, an experienced retail manager, has different ways of dealing with difficult customers than he has of dealing with his inexperienced colleague(s).
Eighth:
quote:
DocV, may I hear your feedback on my explanation?
No. Absolutely not. Sorry, but no.
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Thanks again for your excellent analysis, DocV. May I clarify one thing with you? I guess the bottom line is that "than" is the better option than "from". From my understanding, the first version of the sentences below is wrong .

(3a) You analyze the issue in a different way from how he does.

(4a) My uncle, an experienced retail manager, has different ways of dealing with difficult customers from how his inexperienced colleague does.

The second version below is correct.

(3b) You analyze the issue in a different way than he does.

(4b) My uncle, an experienced retail manager, has different ways of dealing with difficult customers than his inexperienced colleague does.

Please reply to my post once more. Thank you so much, DocV.
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quote:
(1d) You analyze the issue differently than he does.
I don't mean to intrude on this interesting, informative, and extremely long thread, which I have barely had time to read (quickly), but I'd like to highlight DocV's (1d) as an excellent use of "than."

"Than" is more idiomatic with "differently" than it is with "different," which works much better with "from." (It is also possible, though rare, to use "different to," as Bazza suggested.) Here are some other natural options:
    (1w) Your way of analyzing the issue differs from his.
    (1x) Your way of analyzing the issue is different from his.

    (1y) How you analyze the issue differs from how he analyzes it.
    (1z) How you analyze the issue is different from how he analyzes it.
In this brief post I have looked at "differently" (Adv), "differ" (V) and "different" (Adj). I have given natural, grammatically correct options and highlighted an example of DocV's. It has not been the purpose of this post to dissect the syntax of any of its examples.
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David, thank you for sharing your valuable insight, and for contributing to the overall length of the thread Smile.

Ansonman, please understand that you are misrepresenting what I said. You are saying:
quote:
From my understanding, the first version of the sentences below is wrong .
about sentences (3a) and (4a), which were previously referred to as (1b) and (2aa'), respectively.

What I actually said about each of these was:
quote:
it is grammatical and comprehensible, but doesn't quite sit well
Also:
quote:
So, in my mind, (2aa') and (2b) are both acceptable, but (2bb') and (2bb'') are the best versions.
where (2bb') refers to the sentence that you are now calling (4b). So, I have always maintained that all four of these sentences are correct, but that the "than" versions are preferable, as the sentences are structured.
    Just so I can keep my thoughts straight:
  • (3a) = (1b)
  • (4a) = (2aa')
  • (3b) = (1c)
  • (4b) = (2bb')
Now, David, in his concise posting, has done some very interesting things.
quote:
"Than" is more idiomatic with "differently" than it is with "different," which works much better with "from."
On the surface, I agree. However, in all of the prior permutations of series (1), the phrase "in a different way" was used. The single word "differently" means the same thing as the adverbial prepositional phrase "in a different way", so I maintain that "than" works better than "from" when that phrase is used as it is here. I'll go a step further and say that, in all of these examples, I would prefer "differently" over "in a different way".

David then goes on to propose a complete restructuring (1x) of the sentence (1c), where "your way" is the subject of the sentence rather than "you", and "is different" is the main verb rather than "analyze ... in a different way"; here, "from his [way]" (being compared to "your way") is correct, and "than" doesn't work at all.

David's restructuring also allows us to substitute the more elegant "differs" for the phrase "is different".

Of course, David's examples (1y) and (1z) would normally be shortened to:
    1y': How you analyze the issue differs from how he does.
    1z': How you analyze the issue is different from how he does.
Do you understand how (1c) differs from (1z')?

Also, in light of David's contribution, would you indulge me by coming up with some (2) series examples (about your uncle, the manager) that would work with the structures that David suggests?

Thanks.
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