Main Difference – Later vs Latter
Many people often make the mistake of thinking that later and latter have similar meanings as their spelling and sounds are similar. However, later and latter have two different meanings and cannot be used as synonyms. The main difference between these two words is that later is associated with time while latter indicates the second choice previously mentioned. In this article, we are going to demonstrate the difference between later and latter by discussing their usage and function.
Later – Meaning and Usage
The word “later” is generally associated with time. We use “later” as a comparative of “late” or as an adverb that gives the meaning afterwards.
Comparative of Late
“We stayed up that night later than usual.”
“She went to bed later and rose earlier than any of her family.”
When “later” is used as an adjective it is synonymous with afterward, in a while, shortly etc.
“I’ll see you later.”
“Ellen went into the shop, few minutes later she rushed out of the shop as if she had seen a ghost.”
“He returned from the war in 1946, six months later they got married.”
Latter – Meaning and Usage
“Latter” is a word that gives out two meanings. It can be used to indicate the meaning near or nearer to the end of something.
“The latter part of the book was more interesting.”
“This movement was more popular in the latter part of the century.”
It could be also used when referring to the second of two persons or things mentioned previously.
“He was given a choice between a life sentence and joining the army, he chose the latter.”
“He could go to India or China, he chose the latter option.”
“Of the first two Harry Potter movies, I prefer the latter.”
Remember that “latter” should be used when you are referring to two things. It is not appropriate to use “latter” if you are talking about a choice between three or more things. In addition, latter can be used as a noun as well as an adjective, when you are using it to refer to the second of two things. For example, when we say, “I was given a choice between ice-cream and cake, I chose the latter.”, it is used as a noun, but when we say “She said that a wolf attacked them, but her husband swears that it was only a huge dog, I prefer the latter version of the story.” , “latter” is used as an adjective.
Difference Between Later and Latter
Later is used when we are specifically talking about a time period.
Latter is used to indicate near or nearer to the end of something or second of two persons or things mentioned previously.
Later is the comparative form of late.
Latter is used when we are talking about the choice between two things.