Previous vs. Prior: A Simple Comparison

March 18, 2024
Previous vs. Prior: A Simple Comparison

Previous vs. Prior: A Simple Comparison

**Previous vs. Prior: Explained in Simple English**

Words can sometimes seem similar but have different meanings, just like “previous” and “prior.” Let’s go over the difference between these words to help you use them correctly.

– The word “previous” comes from the Latin word “praevius,” meaning “going before.”
– The word “prior” also has Latin roots, from the word “prior,” which means “former.”

**How to use them:**
– “Previous” is used to refer to something that happened or existed before something else.
– “Prior” is used to indicate something that comes before another in order or importance.

**Trick to Remember the Difference:**
– Think of “previous” as something that shows “prevailing” order.
– Remember “prior” by thinking of it as “prioritizing” what is most important.

**Examples of using “Previous”:**
1. I read the previous chapter before starting the new one.
2. Have you seen his previous work on this project?
3. The previous owners of the house painted the walls yellow.
4. She missed the previous train but caught the next one.
5. Please refer to my previous email for more information.

**Examples of using “Prior”:**
1. The company must settle the bills prior to the deadline.
2. Let’s address any prior issues before starting the new project.
3. Have you met with the client prior to the meeting?
4. The kitchen needs to be cleaned prior to preparing the meal.
5. Be sure to complete the form prior to submitting your application.

– Use “previous” when referring to something that happened before another event or time.
– Use “prior” when discussing something that needs to be done before another action or event.

Understanding the difference between “previous” and “prior” can help you communicate more effectively in English.