Difference between Former and Latter | Former vs Latter

Most of you have heard of the words ‘former’ and ‘latter’, but what do these terms mean? You might have heard sentences like “The former is my brother, and the latter is my father.” How would you explain these words? This article will talk about the difference between the words ‘former’ and ‘latter’. There are plenty of words in the English Language that often confuse people. So it’s necessary that they know the meaning of the words before putting them in the sentence. This article will talk about the following points so that one understands the importance of ‘former’ and ‘latter’.

  • Table Summarising the Difference between Former and Latter
  • The Difference between Former and Latter – Meaning
  • Example of Former and Latter
  • Former and Latter – Conclusion

Table Summarising the Difference between Former and Latter

Former

Latter

Meaning

The word former refers to something that’s mentioned before or the first term in a list of two or more items.

The word latter refers to something that’s mentioned at the last or the last term in a list of two or more items.

Usage

It is used as an adjective.

It is used as an adjective.

Example

Elena is my former wife.

The latter is my sister.

This table shows that the words ‘former’ and ‘latter’ aren’t synonymous nor can be used interchangeably. Since students often get confused between these words, this table will help them understand the context they are using it in. Once they get the difference between these words, they can apply them correctly.

The Difference between Former and Latter-Meaning

In a sentence, if it’s given, “Divide the number 340 by 2 and show the result.” Here, the former number or the previously mentioned number is 340, whereas the latter or last number mentioned is 2. So we can say it in this way that the former number is asked to be divided by the latter. Both ‘former’ and ‘later’ are used as adjectives as it describes the noun. So ‘former’ means the one that’s talked about previously or at first, and ‘latter’ means the one that’s talked about later on or after that. Once the students get this concept, they can easily put them in the sentence.

Example of Former and Latter

The following example will help students understand the terms ‘former’ and ‘latter’.

Former – This is Sheldon and Penny. The former is my brother.

Latter – Tim was called to the Principal’s office as the latter was angry with his behaviour.

Once students understand the difference between the words ‘former’ and ‘latter’, they can easily apply them in the proper context.

Former and Latter – Conclusion

The words ‘former’ and ‘latter’ have entirely different meanings and can never be used interchangeably. When one is using these words, one has to understand the context before applying them. BYJU’S offers various articles on many such ‘differences between two words’ that students often get confused with.

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