Difference between Later and Latter | Later vs Latter

Which of the following sentences do you think is right – ‘I will call you later’ or ‘I will call you latter’? Confused, isn’t it! Well, most people have made the mistake of using the words ‘later’ and ‘latter’ interchangeably. But how would you make sure that when you are using these words, you’re using them correctly? This article will answer all your questions, and once you go through it, it will help you use the terms correctly in sentences.

The English Language has always remained a subject that troubles most students. The reason is that there are some words like ‘later’ and ‘latter’, which are known as homophones that confuse students. Since most of them sound the same and have minor differences in their spellings, students often mess them up. The following points below will help you get a clear idea of when and how to use ‘later’ and ‘latter’ correctly.

Table Summarising the Difference between Later and Latter

Later Latter
Meaning The word ‘later’ is used to refer to a time afterwards or after a point of time in the present. The word ‘latter’ is used to refer to happening at the end of any activity.
Usage It is used as an Adverb. It is used as an Adjective.
Example Can I talk to you later? Out of the two dresses, I like the latter.

In the table, as you will see, though the words ‘latter’ and ‘later’ are pronounced the same, they aren’t used interchangeably or synonymously. Children who previously used to get confused – not sure about when and how to use these confusing words can now use them in the correct contexts. The detailed meaning of both the terms, given below, will help students understand more clearly.

The Difference between Later and Latter – Meanings

The word ‘later’ and ‘latter’ are often confused by kids, and a single missing of the letter ‘t’ in the spelling can change the entire meaning of the sentence. When you are using the term ‘later’ in a sentence, it means a time afterwards or after a point of time in the present, for example, ‘The meeting will take place later.’ Here, ‘later’ means that the meeting will not take place at present but at some time afterwards. In contrast, the word ‘latter’ is used when you are given two options, and you choose the second option. The word ‘latter’ is the opposite of ‘former’, for example, ‘Given the two choices of beverages, I would love to have the latter.’ The moment the students understand the difference between these words, it’ll be easier for them to use the words correctly. The examples below will help students understand the concepts a bit more clearly.

Examples of Later and Latter

The examples below will allow students to clearly understand the words ‘later’ and ‘latter’.

Later – The flight would take off a little later. (adverb)

Latter – This is Sam and Jack. The latter is the younger brother. (adjective)

Once students understand how the words ‘later’ and ‘latter’ are different from one another, they can use the words correctly in sentences of their own.

Later and Latter – Conclusion

In conclusion, though the words ‘later’ and ‘latter’ are pronounced the same, they can neither be used interchangeably nor synonymously. This article points out the difference between ‘later’ and ‘latter’ to make it easier for students to put them in sentences correctly. Besides, BYJU’S also offers various articles on many such ‘Differences Between Two Words’ that students often get confused with.


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