the latter

thtoan79

Senior Member
Vietnamese
Hello,

Here is the sentence: "The diplomatic mission or consular post in the Netherlands may submit information in advance to the IND, which the latter will consider when making its decision." (Source:http://www.diplomatmagazine.nl/wp-c...-missions-and-consular-posts-january-2013.pdf) What does "the latter" refer to in this sentence? (I'm not so sure about this so I think it's better to ask) (If you need the context, it is on page 15 of the material)

Thank you.
 
  • Suspishio

    Senior Member
    English - England
    There are two parties defined in the sentence:

    1. The diplomatic mission. (= The former)
    2. The IND. (= The latter)

    Does that make it clear?
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    I agree with Suspishio.

    It means the second of the two.

    EDIT: In text, there is sometimes the "former" and the "latter". In this case, they are referring to the latter.
     

    Suspishio

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Good point. Strictly speaking, "IND" is last! But the sense of the word "or" in the first part of the sentence joins "diplomatic mission" and "consular post" so that in ordinary interpretation, "latter" would refer to "IND".
     

    Nucleara

    Senior Member
    Good point. Strictly speaking, "IND" is last! But the sense of the word "or" in the first part of the sentence joins "diplomatic mission" and "consular post" so that in ordinary interpretation, "latter" would refer to "IND".
    I was wondering about this too. So 'the latter' means the last in the list, and everything mentioned before it is considered to be in the list?
    If I said,"father and mother love me", the latter is "me" and not mother?
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    No. We only use former and latter for lists of length two. If there are more than two items, you have to use other words, like first, second, penultimate, and last.

    Added in edit: In the original example, the latter is "IND". The former is the whole phrase "diplomatic mission or consular post" considered as one unit with two alternatives.
     
    Last edited:

    Suspishio

    Senior Member
    English - England
    But the diplomatic mission, the consular post and the IND are three things. Why?
    It then comes down to meaning and not to pedantic grammar (I'm not suggesting you are being pedantic!).

    Edinburgher has put it well: "diplomatic mission or consular post" is a phrase that constitutes the former and "IND" constitutes the latter.
     

    Nucleara

    Senior Member
    It then comes down to meaning and not to pedantic grammar (I'm not suggesting you are being pedantic!).

    Edinburgher has put it well: "diplomatic mission or consular post" is a phrase that constitutes the former and "IND" constitutes the latter.
    Okay, maybe I am being pedantic, haha.
    Thank you so much Suspishio, and Edinburgher :)
     
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