Big Ben Academy: English Course in Malaysia

Arash Aug 25, 2021 16:30

How to use former and latter in the sentence?

Oftentimes 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 this is something you don’t hear in daily conversation because it is weird and uncommon, plus it will confuse the listener as they have to remember who or what you are referring to when you use former or latter during the talk for instance please vs kindly andmany more examples but now in this article let’s see what the former and latter mean and how we can use them in the sentence.

If you found the former and the 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 latter in the right hand. So first here we mentioned that Karen is holding two things, the key and the phone, now in the next sentence we explained the key is in her left hand and the phone is her right hand.

Former means the first set and latter means the second or the last one . Remember, the former and latter can not describe more or less than two objects. Also if you want to use them in the sentence make sure you use them right after the items that you want to describe, failing to do so, it puts your readers into a mental challenge and now they have to reread the passage to find out who or what you are referring to.


This sentence is wrong:

Among all the sports I like to play tennis, football and basketball but the latter is my real passion.

This sentence is correct:

I know two car brands only BMW and one Mazda, the former is my favorite.

Secondary meaning of former

There is a secondary meaning to the former, which describes the past and it’s no longer valid in the present. My uncle was a former president of our university, he is retired now.

Remember the difference

If this is the first time you hear about former and latter or you always confuse which was which, here is a tip to remember:

Former is the first set, both the former and first start with the letter “F” is the second or the last set.

Both the latter and last start with the letter “L” note to remember when using the word “latter” is to not confuse it with “later” in your writings, the pronunciation is also different, latter sounds more like a “ladder” and later is pronounced like “waiter”.

Join Big Ben Academy

Speak English Confidently, Write English Fluently

Leave a Reply