Difference between περασμένη and προηγούμενη?

Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by WChargin, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. WChargin New Member

    English - United States
    I've seen περασμένη and προηγούμενη used somewhat interchangeably and can't figure out the pattern. In particular, I've seen both "περασμένη εβδομάδα" and "προηγούμενη εβδομάδα."

    Google Translate defines the former as "last" and the latter as "previous," which seem similar to me.

    My usual dictionary, the ΚΥΠΡΟΣ dictionary at kypros.org (sorry; I can't post links), defines:

    which again seem similar to me.

    I also found this post by GreekNative on this forum. The post contains:

    (emphasis mine)

    So is there a subtle difference between the two words that I'm missing, or are they really interchangeable?
  2. shawnee

    shawnee Senior Member

    English - Australian
    Welcome WChargn. The close meaning of the two is as similar as the closeness in meaning of the English equivalents, past/previous. While there is interchangeability, we would be in no doubt when speaking English which one to use in any given context. The same judgement has to be made for the Greek usage. We can for instance be talking about an event, which happened την περασμένη εβδομάδα and in the same sentence refer to a happening preceeding the events mentioned as in, προηγούμενη αίτηση.
  3. sotos Senior Member

    Περασμένος and προηγούμενος are synonymous in many cases (meaning "past, previous"), but not always.
    Some differences: perasmenos is more qolloquial, while proegoumenos is more formal. Proegoumenos may refer to people (e.g. ο προηγούμενος ομιλητής, the previous speaker), but perasmenos cannot. The latter is better for time-related words (days, years, periods).

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