<old, former, and ex- > colleague

Molisang

New Member
Chinese
In a blog post I am practicing to write in English, I have written this statement: "The first time I saw a real hands-free device in use was from Robbie, my former colleague."

My question is whether if "former colleague" is the right term to refer to Robbie who was my colleague in the company five years ago, but both of us had left that company afterward and moved on to a different path of life. Or I should use "old colleague"? Or "ex-colleague" instead?

Thank you in advance.
 
  • sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Either "ex-" or "former" would be appropriate. "Old" does not necessarily mean that you are no longer colleagues, though some would read it that way.
    What if the case is that this former colleague is working with me again at another new company?
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I am wary of using "former" with "colleague"; colleague implies a certain amount of friendship, and it is unclear whether, "He is one of my former colleagues" means that you have had an argument with him or whether you were simply in the same place at some time in the past.
    What if the case is that this former colleague is working with me again at another new company?
    I would say, "That is Ling Yau, one of my colleagues from when we worked at the Lucky Dragon company." or
    "That is Ling Yau, an old colleague from the Lucky Dragon company."
     
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