When it comes to coaching for IELTS success, students from Bengaluru, Chennai or Coimbatore have a great advantage of Sahasriya. Sahasriya leads the way with over 2500 successful students thus far, making it coaching for IELTS success, a the best quality and professional course for students. In Bengaluru or Chennai-Velachery and Porur or Coimbatore, the best success rate destination for English courses always ends up at Sahasriya. Thats why Sahasriya also provides value to students through its Interesting English series. Everyday’s note on important aspects of English language is a standing example of narrating experiences of coaching for IELTS success. Today, it is about ‘Former‘ and ‘Latter‘.
If you are in school or reading any type of academic prose, you have mostly likely seen these two words in some of your assigned readings. They usually appear as a pair but not always, and many readers find them confusing.
Once you know how to use these two words, they aren’t confusing at all. In fact, they have near opposite meanings.
When to Use Former
When former is used in the sense of former vs. latter, it is either acting as an adjective or as a noun. Former means being the first of two persons or things mentioned. For example,
- I was accepted to Harvard and Yale for college. The former school had cheaper tuition. (Adjective)
- I was accepted to Harvard and Yale for college, but the former had cheaper tuition. (Noun)
When to Use Latter
Just as former can function as both an adjective and noun, so can latter.
Latter means being the second of two persons or things mentioned. It comes from the comparative form of Old English laet: laetra, which meant “slower.” Latter subsequently took on the meaning “the second of two people or things.” For example,
- We went to the beach with Sindhu and Govind, the latter of whom would not stop complaining.
- You need to replace the tie-rod or the ball joint, the latter of which being more expensive.
A note to keep in mind when using the word latter is not to confuse it with the word ladder. Even though they sound somewhat similar when you say them out loud, they are very different. A ladder is a device people climb up and down.
As you can see, they are very different. In order to not confuse ladder and latter when you write, remember that latter is related to later. Both have “T’s” in them.
Be Careful Using These Words
You might be tempted to use former and latter with more than just two items, and although this tendency comes to the surface every now and then—even in respectable sources—it should be avoided.
- There are three flavors in Neapolitan ice cream, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. The former is my favorite. (WRONG)
There are much cleaner and easier ways to convey the same message without confusing people.
- There are three flavors in Neapolitan ice cream, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. The first of which is my favorite. (CORRECT)
Additionally, When you use latter and former in your writing, be sure that they are in close proximity to their antecedents (the people or items to which they are referring). It is undesirable for the reader to go back and reread a passage because he forgot which one was the former and which one was the latter. It’s best to keep them as close as possible.
Remember the Difference
These two words are easy to keep track of if you can remember this one trick.
Former is the first word. Both former and first start with the letter “F.”
Latter is the last word. Both latter and last start with the letter “L.” You can also remember that latter comes later than does former.
Former is the first of two mentioned things.
Latter is the second of two mentioned things.
This daily series is an effort by Sahasriya in providing best writing and speaking practices as a part of coaching for IELTS success and beyond. These vital tips ensures a student’s aspiration of quality coaching for IELTS success is more effective with Sahasriya which is what hundreds of students benefit from everyday.