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I know that »nichts anderes/Anderes« means "nothing else", for example:

  • Seit er das Motorrad hat, hat er nichts anderes/Anderes mehr im Kopf.

And I know that »nicht anders« means something like "not differently", for example:

  • Das machen wir so und nicht anders.

Could you please tell me, however, if there is any difference between the following:

  • sofern nichts anderes festgelegt/vereinbart ist
  • sofern nicht anders festgelegt/vereinbart (ist?)

&

  • Hier sitze ich und kann nichts anderes, als die Sache der Reihe nach zu berichten, möglichst genau und ohne Hast.
  • Hier sitze ich und kann nicht anders, als die Sache der Reihe nach zu berichten, möglichst genau und ohne Hast.

Vielen Dank

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There is a slight difference in the meaning of your examples: In the first example, 'nichts anderes' refers to a concrete object, whereas 'nicht anders' is a bit more general.

Similarly, in your second example, the first sentence would imply that you cannot do anything else but something concrete as stated. It is also slightly incorrect, it would be more correct to say: Hier sitze ich und kann nichts anderes tun, als die Sache der Reihe nach zu berichten, möglichst genau und ohne Hast.

vs the second sentence which expresses a more general statement about the inability to act any differently than as expressed here. It expresses a more urgent inability to do something.

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  • Many thanks to you. Is that subtle difference lost in day-to-day conversations? I mean would it matter much which one I use? Commented May 15, 2022 at 15:19
  • Also, do you happen to know if there's an "ist" at the end of "sofern nicht anders festgelegt/vereinbart"?? Or is it optional? Commented May 15, 2022 at 15:22
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    You can use both and there is not a big difference in meaning for your first example and no you wouldn't add ist to the end of 'sofern nicht anders vereinbart'
    – DeniseR
    Commented May 15, 2022 at 15:26

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