Sunday, July 27, 2008

How to use ‘the former’ and ‘the latter’

In order to avoid redundancy, we can use ‘the former’ and ‘the latter’ after having mentioned two things in the first sentence. ‘The former’ refers to the first thing and ‘the latter’ refers to the second one.

The following sentences will illustrate the above points:

The security officer arrested a man and a woman for shoplifting in a supermarket. The former took three small calculators and put them in his big pocket before trying to go out of the supermarket without paying for them. The latter put on an expensive T-shirt under her overcoat but was caught when she attempted to leave the supermarket ‘empty-handed’.