Former vs Latter! Former and latter are easily confused words. These words are confused because they aren’t used all the time. They are more formal wording for first and last in a scenario of two things.
Former vs Latter
These words can seem confusing, and they probably sound old-fashioned to most people. But they are useful terms in formal writing.
Former Definition and Examples
Former applies to the first in a series of two things.
- The former option would be much more sensible.
- Of the two suggestions, I prefer the former.
- He had to choose between giving up his job and giving up his principles. He chose the former.
Latter Definition and Examples
Latter applies to the second in a series of two things.
- The town has a concert hall and two theatres. The latter were both built in the 1950s.
- Coursework may be carried out individually or in groups; the latter may involve peer assessment.
- He presented two solutions. The latter seems much better.
*Tip: To remember which of these terms is which, keep the following in mind
- Former starts with F, just like “first.”
- Latter starts with L, just like “last.”
Latter vs Former Examples
- Of shopping and chatting, she much preferred the former.
- Did he dance or sing? The former seems unlikely.
- One can travel there by bus or train. Most people choose the former.
- My sister offered me a T-shirt or a dress and I chose the latter.
- Of the two options, Mary prefers the latter.
- He tracked down his cousin and uncle. The latter was sick.
Latter vs Former Infographic
Former vs Latter: When to Use Latter vs Former