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Old and ex can express the same idea, or not?

We say: This is my old school

or

This is my ex school?

My ex girlfriend is standing over there

or

My old girlfriend is standing over there

?
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AnonymousOld and ex can express the same idea, or not? Yes, sometimes

We say: This is my old school OK

or

This is my ex school? No, not usually

My ex-girlfriend is standing over there OK

or

My old girlfriend is standing over there OK

?
You can use the word 'old' to mean the same thing as 'ex-'. However, you have to be very careful about context and wording if you use 'old' because 'old' can be used in a number of ways when referring to people.

The prefix 'ex-' normally refers to people and their former status, title or position. For example:
her ex-boyfriend
the ex-president
my ex-colleague
our ex-neighbor
an ex-member


The word 'old' can be used to mean 'former' or 'previous' and is not restricted to use with people.
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Hi Noori,

Also, 'my old girlfriend' would not mean 'my former girlfriend' but rather a girlfriend since long time.

No. 'My old girlfriend' does indeed suggest 'my former girlfriend'. It doesn't refer to the length of our relationship.

It could also, depending on the context, mean that I like to date women who are senior citizens.Emotion: smile

Clive
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Comments  
No, ex is used to mean 'former' and is usually used for former human relationshops such as an spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend. Ex-school doesn't sound good.

Also, 'my old girlfriend' would not mean 'my former girlfriend' but rather a girlfriend since long time.
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