I want to write

"The date you are trying to write is not ... than the existing one."

when user wants to write and replace date in some document. Should I use "newer" or "later"?

Somebody has to overwrite 30.12.2018 with date, which is not earlier nor same as 30.12.2018, e.g. 31.12.2018. If he writes 29.12.2018 or 30.12.2018, I have to respond than the date he is trying to write is not later/newer than the existing one (30.12.2018). Which one should I use?

Replaced 'older' with 'newer', as @virolino mentioned in his answer.


Within the context of giving a user feedback for incorrect input, something like the following construction works well:

You must enter a date that comes after the existing one

"Come after" means "to follow or succeed", which is appropriate when talking about a sequence of dates.

The phrase "the date you entered is not..." implies that the user is wrong but doesn't clearly explain why they are wrong, leaving it up to the user to figure out what the right thing to do is. In other words, it tells the user what they should not do, but it doesn't tell the user what they should do. If you say "you must" instead, it clearly indicates what they should do to satisfy the requirement. It also sounds a little more collegial.


I think "after" suits best:

"The date you are trying to write is not after the existing one."

  • and before being the other half. – WendyG Mar 25 at 15:30
  • No “than” is necessary after “after”. – Mixolydian Mar 25 at 15:40
  • 'after than the', not 'after the'? – kujaw Mar 25 at 15:42
  • 1
    That was an honest mistake. Tnx. – virolino Mar 25 at 17:45

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