What would be the difference between

  • другой and иной
  • по-другому and по-иному / иначе


  • What comes иначе from (is it comparative of иной)?
  • Is there something alike for другой? And why or why not?

Другой - comes from "Два" (two), "Второй" (second) and can be translated as "another" ("not like first"). There is one differences between "another" word usage in English and "другой" word in Russian.

If you say "Give me another cake, pls" - you expect to have one more cake, but if you say "Дайте мне другое пироженое, пжлст" - you are going to return the cake you have back and take another (different) one:

Also Другой by meaning can be placed between Иной and Следующий:

Иной       - Другой   - Следующий
Different  - Another  - Next

Иной means something strange, not usual, outstanding and can be translated as "different", "strange". Иной is exact adjective to describe an alien.

But иначе is exactly the same as по-другому and can be translated as "different way".

Also Иной is rarely used word (as well as по-иному). I would say these two words are obsolete.

I don't know the good synonym for другой. It is commonly used word and I believe it does not have competitors between words :)

  • That's what I suspected, that it's rarely used. If you speak about somebody and want to say others as in other people in general who might interact with the person in question, one wouldn't use иные, would one? As you say, it's rather seldom used and it's not as neutral as другие. Does that apply?
    – user3538
    May 31 '14 at 6:24
  • You are absolutely right. May 31 '14 at 9:03
  • That does indeed apply. "Другие" is your best choice. You can say "люди могут услышать",too ( "people can hear us"). "Иные" sounds obsolete, pompous for that use and imply that these people are "different, strange" in some way. By the way, "иначе" can also be used as "otherwise" when connecting clauses ("Learn Russian handwriting, otherwise you'll be really slow because writing printed shapes by hand isn't that comfortable"). The meaning "по-другому" obviously lacks. "Так или иначе" (one way or another) can only be used in this exact wording.
    – Shady_arc
    May 31 '14 at 9:04

иной is an adjective and synonymous with другой. The only difference would be common sayings or phrases that use one or the other.

по-другому and по-иному / иначе are also synonyms.




иначе is an adverb whereas иной is an adjective, so something alike for другой would also be an adverb from другой (probably you would just use по-другому).

Hope it helps!


Main difference is If there are limit of available entities to choose from you say другой, otherwise иной (from unknown amount of options).

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