How to use former and latter in the sentence?
Most of the time, you catch the words former and latter in technical writings. These are very helpful as they give a sense of direction and a reference to readers. But you will rarely hear this in daily conversation because it is not very common. The clarification below will understand the proper way to use former and latter that improve your English proficiency.
Using these in daily conversation will perplex others because they will have to remember who or what you are referring to when you use the words former or latter during the conversation.
Let’s see what the words former and latter mean and how we can use them in a sentence.
If you found the words former and latter in your readings, it means they are describing a sequence behind them. Here is an example:
- Karen was talking while holding a car key and her phone, the former in her left hand and the latter in her right.
So first here, we mentioned that Karen is holding two things, which are the key and the phone. Make sure you use the words former and latter right after the items that you want to describe in a sentence. If you fail to do so, readers or listeners will have trouble understanding what you are referring to, and they will have to re-read the sentence.
The right and wrong examples of former and latter
This sentence is wrong:
- Tennis, football, and basketball are among the sports I enjoy playing, but basketball is my true passion.
This sentence is correct:
- I know two car brands, which are BMW and Mazda, the former is my favorite.
Another meaning of the word “former”
There is another meaning of "former," which describes the past that is no longer valid in the present. For example:
- My uncle was a former president of our university, he is now retired.
Remember the difference of former and latter
If this is the first time you've heard of former and latter, or if you've always confused these two, here's a helpful hint:
- “Former” is the first set; both the former and the first start with the letter "F."
- Both the “latter” and “last" start with the letter “L."
Do not confuse “latter” with "later." Later means anytime after the present time, while latter refers to the second or last mention of things or people.
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