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    #1

    Does "former teachers" make sense?

    Does "former teachers/friends" make sense? Suppose I am in college now, can I refer to my teachers and friends in high school as "former teachers/friends"? I didn't this usage of "former" in several dictionaries, but I can see "former friends" if I do a google search. I'm confused, in need of your comments. Thanks.

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: Does "former teachers" make sense?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe
    Does "former teachers/friends" make sense? Suppose I am in college now, can I refer to my teachers and friends in high school as "former teachers/friends"? I didn't this usage of "former" in several dictionaries, but I can see "former friends" if I do a google search. I'm confused, in need of your comments. Thanks.
    Well, it's OK, but it has an idiomatic ring to it, and it's not always a positive one, in that it can mean, the one I had before, but one that has since been replaced by something/someone better.

    EX: She is my former girlfriend.
    EX: He is one of our former employees.

    Try,

    My teachers from high school
    My friends from high school


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    #3

    Re: Does "former teachers" make sense?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Well, it's OK, but it has an idiomatic ring to it, and it's not always a positive one, in that it can mean, the one I had before, but one that has since been replaced by something/someone better.

    EX: She is my former girlfriend.
    EX: He is one of our former employees.

    Try,

    My teachers from high school
    My friends from high school
    Cas, I get your point about it not being always a positive one. As a native-speaker, if you hear someone saying "I miss my former classmates/friends/teachers", you don't feel weird, do you?

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #4

    Re: Does "former teachers" make sense?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe
    Cas, I get your point about it not being always a positive one. As a native-speaker, if you hear someone saying "I miss my former classmates/friends/teachers", you don't feel weird, do you?
    It sounds OK in that context, but personally speaking I would use 'old'; it's more colloquial.

    I wouldn't feel weird, but if I were your present classmate, I'd be a little sad, because it would mean that you like them more than you like me.

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