Hi there,

I just want to reassure myself.

Let's consider such sentences:

True 2D flow may be difficult to achieve in lab. 2D flow may be extended to include axisymmetric. The latter is often easier.

The latter reffers to sentence '2D flow may be extended to include axisymmetric', right?

If I used 'the former' expression I would indicate the first sentence i.e. 'True 2D flow may be difficult to achieve in lab'?

Thx in advance for Your help.

No, 'the latter', if it refers to anything, refers to 'axisymmetric'; 'the former' would seem to refer to nothing in your sentences. To use 'former' and 'latter', there must be two clearly parallel cases, events, alternatives, etc.

'I have a dog and a cat; the former is ugly and the latter is ill-tempered.'

To make use of these terms in your passage, you will have to clarify the relationship by recasting to something like:

'True 2D flow alone may be difficult to achieve in the lab. 2D flow when extended to include axisymmetric is another possible technique. The latter is often easier.'
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Thanks for Your comprehensive answer.

To sum up: 'the latter' stands for last mentioned event (case...whatever) among 2 parallel cases.
Are there any other posibilities to relate in such way ? Any examples?


I am unsure as to what you are looking for in the way of 'other possibilities', Wojek-- there are similar modes of expression for back-reference:

I've been married twice.

My first wife was beautiful; my second wife was rich.
The former was beautiful and the latter was rich.
In the first instance, I had a beautiful wife, while in the latter instance, I had a rich one.
The first was beautiful, while the second was rich.
One was beautiful and the other was rich.
The first-mentioned was beautiful and the last-mentioned was rich.

And there are probably others (examples, I mean-- not wives).
Now I can say that the topic has been exploitedEmotion: smile

Thanks Mr Micawber!

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