Latter or Ladder: Which One to Use?

Latter or ladder? Homophones or words that identicale the same pronunciations can be confusing. In this blog post, we will explain the between the words “latter” and “ladder,” including their definitions and usage.  

What Does Ladder Mean?

A ladder is a self-supporting piece of equipment that consists of two vertical poles joined by several horizontal rungs. However, the word ladder can also have different meanings. In British English, the word means to run in a stocking.

Fun fact: Ladder is from the Old English word hlΓ¦der. This word is equivalent to steps in English. 

When to Use Ladder?

You can use the word “ladder” as a support to reach high places or higher spots, such as the top of a structure or tree. You can also use it figuratively to represent a series of steps in a hierarchy or ranking system.

Examples of Ladder in a Sentence

The word “ladder” can be used to mean multiple things in different contexts. Here are some example sentences that use this word:

  1. Ladders are used by firefighters to rescue victims from burning buildings.
  2. The organization has a strict promotion ladder, and reaching the top can take years.
  3. She is climbing the corporate ladder by offering a better position for the client. 
  4. She was terrified of heights and couldn’t get herself to ascend the ladder.
  5. Jacob removed a rung from the ladder and placed it in his pocket.
  6. She used a stepladder to reach the nylon stockings. 
  7. The handyman used a ladder to fix the gutter frame and side rails.  

What Does Latter Mean?

Latter means “the second of two” or the “second half.” This word is frequently used in conjunction with the word “former,” which refers to the first of two things

Expert Tip: So, what’s the difference between the words “former” and “latter”? If you are describing two events, the one that occurs before the other is the former, and the one that occurs after is the latter.

When to Use Latter? 

When describing the half of a time period or near the end of an event, you use the word “latter.” You may also use “latter” to refer to the second of two individuals, objects, groups, and even months of a period. 

Examples of Latter in a Sentence

The latter can be used in a variety of ways in a sentence. Here are a couple of examples:

  1. I prefer the latter part of a film because there is conflict.  
  2. The latter offer was better than the former. 
  3. The team’s captain is a former player, and the coach is a latter player.
  4. The novel has been made into a movie twice, the former in the 1930s and the latter in the 1950s.
  5. He was the latter of two sons born to the couple.
  6. I would like to speak to the former President, not the latter.
  7. She washes her hair with shampoo and conditioner, the former on her scalp and the latter on her hair.

What’s the Difference Between Ladder and Latter?

So, what’s the difference between “ladder” and “latter”? The latter refers to the second of two, while the former is a structure for descent and ascent or climbing.

In addition, ladder can be used metaphorically to indicate a sequence of steps leading to a goal. In contrast, “latter” can be used as a formal adjective and is often put in front of a noun. 

Trick to Remember Which One to Use

Here’s an easy way to remember latter or ladder. If you think of the term “climb” in your writing, you should use the word “ladder.” 

If you are talking about two persons or objects and want to describe the one that comes first, use the word “former.” And if you’re talking about two individuals or things and want to express the one that comes last, use “latter.”

The Climb Up

When it comes to using “latter” or “ladder,” the main difference is that the latter refers to a physical structure while the former refers to the second of two. 

However, you can use the word “ladder” to reach a greater height regarding career or social status figuratively. Remember that “latter “is typically employed as a formal adjective. 

We hope this helps to clarify things for you.  


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