K Street is closer than M Street.Or you would say:
This movie was more bizarre than any movie she had ever seen.The word than suggests some sort of comparison. Hence, we use the comparative adjective plus the word than. The expression is usually followed by a noun, pronoun, or other noun form.
These shirts are different from the ones I bought last year.Or you would say:
His car is different from mine.In the above examples, the expression is followed by a noun (ones) or pronoun (mine) form.
This experience was different than he thought it would be.Or you would say:
My birthday this year was different than it was last year.In the latter example, if you used different from, you would have to provide a noun or pronoun to serve as the object of from:
My birthday this year was different from what it was last year.So a big distinction between the two expressions is this: different from typically requires a noun or noun form to complete the expression, while different than may be followed by a clause.
Washington, D.C., is different than Hollywood, or Manhattan, or any other city in which young girls attach themselves to older, successful men. Dahlia Lithwick, “G-Girl Confidential,” July 30, 2001, Slate.com.New Fowler notes that writers prefer different from in Britain. Garner Oxford urges the use of different from in America, because than implies a comparison and different is not a comparative adjective. Garner Oxford, p. 101.
I found that a meadow seen against the light was an entirely different tone of green to the same meadow facing the light. New Fowler, p. 212.Though it sounds strange, the structure different to is (how shall I say this?) similar to the structure similar to. If something can be similar to something else, why can’t it be different to something else? We’ll have to ask Igor, Amber, and Miss Hamrick.
Ordinarily, favor different from over different than. Use different than when you want a clause to follow the expression. Be consistent within the paper.