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  1. #1
    Charmaine_CA is offline Newbie
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    Default The difference between "older" and "elder"

    Hello teacher, I'm Charmaine Alaina. I had some difficulties about the difference between "older" and "elder" Would you please to help me? Thank you very much.

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: The difference between "older" and "elder"

    Question: I have been having some difficulties telling the difference between elder and older. Would you help me?

    Answer: Whether there is any difference between the two depends on the sentence.

    Sam is older than Ed.
    Sam is elder than Ed.

    Sam is the older brother.
    Sam is the elder brother.

    ~R

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The difference between "older" and "elder"

    I guess, simply put, older is the comparative form of old (old, older, oldest). Elder isn't a comparative, since there isn't a word such as eld (as far as I know).

  4. #4
    matilda Guest

    Default Re: The difference between "older" and "elder"

    Elder means older but it is used in comp[a]rative form. Although there is no word call[e]d ELD, we use ELDER for comparison especially in written form.
    Last edited by Casiopea; 19-Aug-2007 at 08:53. Reason: style

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    Default Re: The difference between "older" and "elder"

    Additionally,
    In comparisons between two persons, elder means “older” but not necessarily “old”:
    My elder sister is sixteen; my younger, twelve.
    Eldest is used when three or more persons are compared:

    He is the eldest of four brothers.
    In other contexts elder does denote relatively advanced age but with the added component of respect for a person's achievement, as in an elder statesman. If age alone is to be expressed, one should use older or elderly rather than elder:

    A survey of older Americans; an elderly waiter.
    Unlike elder and its related forms, the adjectives old, older, and oldest are applied to things as well as to persons.

    elder 1. The American HeritageŽ Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.

  6. #6
    iloveu is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: The difference between "older" and "elder"

    RonBee's answer is what I was taught in my school years.

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee View Post
    Question: I have been having some difficulties telling the difference between elder and older. Would you help me?

    Answer: Whether there is any difference between the two depends on the sentence.

    Sam is older than Ed.
    Sam is elder than Ed.

    Sam is the older brother.
    Sam is the elder brother.

    ~R

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