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I have heard the following sentence:

Le cose sono andate in maniera diversa.

Is "in maniera diversa" idiomatic and more usual than "in una maniera diversa"?

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    yes, is almost always used "in maniera diversa", the word "una" is unnecessary because "maniera" contains the genre and the number. You can add "una" if you want put the accent on the number, so not in -many other ways- but in -only ONE way different-. – Christian L. Sep 10 '19 at 8:13
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in maniera diversa focuses on what was supposed to happen, while in una maniera diversa focuses on what actually happened. However the difference is minimal and both forms are correct.

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According to Google Ngram Viewer, "in maniera diversa" is much more usual than "in una maniera diversa".

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=in+maniera+diversa%2Cin+una+maniera+diversa&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=22&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cin%20maniera%20diversa%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cin%20una%20maniera%20diversa%3B%2Cc0

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