I'm sure you've heard the word 'else' before. Let's see what we can learn about it.

How to Use 'Else' in English

'Else' mainly functions as an adverb in the English language. In this lesson, we will discuss how to learn and use it.

Functions of 'Else'

'Else' as an Adverb

As mentioned above, 'else' mainly functions as an adverb. Now, let us analyze the kinds of adverbs it can be:


'Else' as an Adverb of Manner

'Else' mainly joins wh-words like who, what, where, etc., and indefinite pronouns like 'anything', 'anyone', someone', etc. It is used to show something or someone different or extra. Look at the examples below for more clarification:

Does anybody else agree with Martha?

As you can see, the sentence is referring to other people different from the addressee.

I don't understand it when you say we could go somewhere else.

Position in a Sentence

Since 'else' is an adverb and as it was mentioned it modifies wh-words and indefinite pronouns, it comes after them to describe them. Take a look at the following examples for more clarification:

Jimmy said we must move somewhere else before it gets too late.

Who else thought it unnecessary to inform me?

Idioms and Expressions with 'Else'

We have very few idioms with 'else' in the English language. Below, we are going to learn all about them:

  • Or else: This one is used to to indicate the consequences of something, and also when we want to show the second of two possibilities:

Just run straight through that wall or else you'll both have to use the flying car to Hogwarts.

My dad either slept well last night or else he didn't sleep at all.

  • If all else fails: This one is used to indicate what will happen if all the ways you tried has been fruitless:

If all else fails, I think I'll probably leave this city for good.

What should we do if all else fails?


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