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    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 1
    #1

    understanding the use of similar meaning words

    What is the differece between thethen, former and ex.

  1. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #2

    Re: understanding the use of similar meaning words

    1 the then king of England = the king of England at the time being discussed

    2 the former king of England = the king of England at some previous time

    3 the ex-king of England - still alive, but not king any more

    1 & 2 are very close in meaning, and are often interchangeable; ex means 'used to be ... but is definitely not any more': "My ex-wife has custody of the children in term-time, and I have them during the holidays". Ex is so often prepended to 'wife' or 'husband' or 'lover' that it has become a noun on its own (a sort of 'pro-lover'!): 'I rarely see my ex nowadays'.

    b

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