Difference between Later and Latter

For many people who do not speak English as their first language and even for those who are native speakers, it is not always easy to make out the difference between words that sound or are spelled similar. In this case, talking about the difference between ‘Later’ and ‘Latter’ is not that hard of a task to do and can be liberating for many who have been searching for it ever since they found out that they had been using either one of them in the wrong sense!

When talking about a time gap between any specific set of events, we would use ‘later’ instead of the other because it means something after another in a continuous series that can go on forever. Later cannot be used in a past or previous sense but can only be used in each and every situation as something to do with the future and not part of the present or past in any case.

Some examples of later are:

“I have found what I was looking for and will go get it later.”

“Hold on for now, I will explain what I was talking about previously a little later.”

“He had to go with his friends and will pick her up on his way back to the school later on this evening.”

When writing and talking about two things in the same sentence, people usually want to talk about one of those things but do not normally know how to do so without having to take the name of that specific thing. This is where ‘latter’ comes into play. When you are talking about two things in a sentence and want to further elaborate on the second, using latter is the proper way to do so while mentioning the first one would require you to use ‘former’ instead of ‘latter’.

Some examples of latter are:

“Talking about Nokia and Samsung, the latter has emerged as a stronger player later on in the game.”

“John and Billy are very similar but in terms of the latter, he can be a little more sensitive at times.”


  • 1


    Talking about something that will happen and has not yet is the correct way to use ‘later’. This word cannot be used for anything in the present or past.

    - Image Courtesy: wikipedia.org

  • 2


    The grammatically correct way of wanting to describe the second of two things in your sentence can be done by using the word 'latter'.

    - Image Courtesy: amloki.blogspot.com

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