Situation: the student is asking about the possibility of having the next lesson with his teacher at 8:00 instead of usual 8:30. Teacher is answering:

"This Friday, 8:00 is fine. Not sure, though, about the latter times"

Is it okay to say like that? Google on "latter times" seems to return a lot of religious context, but here the teacher is not implying anything religious. He only says that he is not sure if other subsequent lessons after this Friday are also possible to be held at 8:00

  • Teacher possibly meant 'later'? – Michael Harvey Jan 26 '19 at 9:53
  • @MichaelHarvey - Can "later" really be used as an adjective? – brilliant Jan 26 '19 at 10:04
  • Of course it can. Look in a dictionary. You are supposed to do that before asking on this site. – Michael Harvey Jan 26 '19 at 10:56
  • @MichaelHarvey - I DID look in the dictionary before asking - in Webster. Webster only presents "later" as an adverb: merriam-webster.com/dictionary/later It looks rather unlikely to me that the editors simply forgot that it could also be an adjective. – brilliant Jan 26 '19 at 11:42
  • 'Former' and 'latter' would refer to something/some things mentioned in a previous sentence. Please can you say what came before this. (I've moved this to the comments because I forgot which website I'm on!) – chasly - supports Monica Jan 26 '19 at 12:06

"This Friday, 8:00 is fine. Not sure, though, about the latter times"

Having understood the question better from the comments, I suggest the following

"This Friday, 8:00 is fine. Not sure, though, about the future times"

or simply

"This Friday, 8:00 is fine. Not sure, though, about in future."

  • 1
    "about the future times" doesn't really work there. All the times are 'future' times. Neither does 'in future'. – Michael Harvey Jan 26 '19 at 12:51
  • 'The later times' works fine, though. – Michael Harvey Jan 26 '19 at 12:52

It is possible that the teacher meant to use 'later', and as an adjective:


adjective [ before noun ]


​ B2 happening at a time in the future, or after the time you have mentioned:

We could catch a later train.
You can always change your password at a later date.

Later (Cambridge Dictionary)

This is repeated in Oxford:

Later (Oxford Learner's Dictionaries)

'Later' is shown as an adjective in the first 1828 edition of Webster's Dictionary

Later (Webster 1828)

By 1913 it was shown as both adjective and adverb:

Later (Webster 1913)

Although the current Merriam-Webster only says 'later' is an adverb, the current American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language gives both:

Later (American Heritage)

  • Strange, how come Webster didn't mention that "later" could be an adjective? Is it, perhaps, because adjectival usage of "later" is chiefly British? – brilliant Jan 26 '19 at 12:56
  • BTW, I just discovered that in your Cambridge Dictionary link there is "American" section. If you click on it, you'll see that "later" is mentioned there only as an adverb - just like in Webster. Not so in Oxford, though. – brilliant Jan 26 '19 at 13:00
  • Having read your answer, I've lost my faith in Webster. – brilliant Jan 26 '19 at 16:24
  • Using more than one dictionary from more than one English region is a good idea. – Michael Harvey Jan 26 '19 at 19:23
  • The comparative 'later' and plain 'late' are both capable of being adjective or adverb. – Michael Harvey Jan 26 '19 at 19:39

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