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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    former vs. earlier

    There is a notable difference between his earlier and later writings.
    Although "earlier" is much more common/widespread I suppose, can I also use the word "former" instead?
    There is a notable difference between his former and later writings.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: former vs. earlier

    No. "Former" is paired with "latter" when only two things have previously been mentioned.

    I have a cat and a dog. The former is brown and the latter is black.
    I usually read The Daily News and The Post. I read the former on weekdays and the latter at weekends.

    Your example uses "earlier" to refer to writings he made early in his career and "later" to refer to the writings he made at a later stage of his career.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: former vs. earlier

    It can also be used like this:

    former adj (prenominal)
    • belonging to or occurring in an earlier time: former glory
    • having been at a previous time: a former colleague
    (Collins)

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: former vs. earlier

    "There is a notable difference between his earlier and later writings." You can say this whether you have an identified index writing or not.
    "There is a notable difference between his former and later writings." For this you need to nominate a writing to which the others are before or after. This also applies to "
    "There is a notable difference between his previous and subsequent writings."
    Only the first can be used without naming a particular writing as an index.

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