I always thought only 他の existed, but my teacher uses 他に a lot. Are there differences between when each can be used?

Here are two examples of each from my online dictionary:

だれかほかの人に聞いてごらん (Ask somebody else for help)

ほかに行きたい人はいますか (Is there anyone else who wants to go?)

In both of these examples, I feel like ほか is describing 人, so why are different particles used?

1 Answer 1


One way is to look at them as exclusive (ほかの) and inclusive (ほかに).

  1. だれかほかの人に聞いてごらん
    Ask somebody else [someone other than me/someone other than this person] for help.

  2. ほかに行きたい人はいますか
    [In addition to who already wants to go] is there anyone else who wants to go?

Notice that you can use "besides" in both sentences:
1. Ask someone besides me.
2. Besides those who already want to, anyone else want to go?

Just keep in mind that ほかの excludes what it's attached to (1. ひと), and ほかに includes it (2. 行きたい人).

With that in mind, when each can be used should depend mostly on what you wish to say. I am sure there are specific rules for how they can be attached to words, but I don't know them.

  • I understand your answer, but the wording is somewhat confusing. You might want to re-word it to be more easily understood.
    – istrasci
    Commented Dec 2, 2011 at 3:35
  • I don't think it's confusing as long as you read the examples... Which someone would hopefully do if they're genuinely interested in finding an answer.
    – atlantiza
    Commented Dec 2, 2011 at 3:43
  • Your distinction does not seem to hold. For example, 他の人にも聞いてごらん means "... in addition to ...", and 他に行きたい場所はない means "... nowhere else ...".
    – user458
    Commented Dec 2, 2011 at 6:39
  • @sawa Good point. I wouldn't have thought that it meant in addition to, but something more like "[excluding me] you can also ask someone else". or "Besides me, also ask..." I've been trying to see your position on the second sentence, but I don't see why it falls apart there. It still looks like "Besides/In addition to" 行きたい場所 "there is no other" 行きたい場所. Commented Dec 2, 2011 at 7:23
  • 1
    Perhaps it's easier to understand that 他の says something about a noun while 他に says something about the verb.
    – Flaw
    Commented Dec 2, 2011 at 12:01

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .