In this example sentence, would "latter" be correct?

This writing focuses on Pissarro, Courbet, and Monet but we will direct our attention to the latter.

If not, what other phrasing could I use? Thanks!

  • The sentence is contradictory too. Focusing means drawing the attention. You could say: "This writing discusses ..." Apr 7 at 19:26
  • @WeatherVane - Focussing (common spelling in British English) means directing the attention, doesn't it? As Cambridge Dictionary says - Meaning of focus in English - focus verb [I/T] - DIRECT ATTENTION) - to direct attention toward something or someone: Tonight’s program focuses on homelessness. Apr 7 at 19:35
  • 2
    Rule. Use latter to refer to the second of two persons or things that have been mentioned. When more than two have been mentioned, use last. Apr 7 at 19:38
  • 1
    This writing, no. This paper or this article focuses on a, b, and especially c.
    – Lambie
    Apr 7 at 20:45
  • 1
    @YosefBaskin Thank you, Yosef. :)
    – Lambie
    Apr 7 at 23:41

3 Answers 3


You can spell it out,

direct our attention to the latter two.

Another form would be

direct our attention to the last two


"Latter" would be used when discussing two elements on the list. I would use last instead of latter here.


would "latter" be correct?

No. It is "last".

late (adj. - not used in this sense) - latter (comparative - usually, but not exclusively, of two) -> last (superlative).

The problem with "latter" is that when there are more than two things - as in your example, it can be taken to mean the last two.

  • Some evidence would be good.
    – Stuart F
    Apr 7 at 22:18

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