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He loved his former wife. Options
levylee
Posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 1:21:00 AM
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He loved his former wife.
Without any contexts, could I interpret that the woman was his wife and he loved her before divorced.
or the woman was his wife and he loved her after divorced and before now.

I am confused whether the relation was over before or after he loved her?
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 4:41:17 AM
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The sentence says nothing about WHEN he loved his wife. All it tells us that at some time, in the past, he loved her.

He could have loved her until yesterday. He could have loved her at the time they got married but no longer. The sentence doesn't go into detail - there is nothing in the sentence that indicates how long this love was felt.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 7:26:57 PM

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I think that maybe there would be (with enough context) an implication in the word "former" but, as Romany says, as a single sentence, it doesn't really explain enough.

He was married from 1980 till the divorce in 2005. He loved his wife. He loved her while they were married and something happened (she didn't love him? maybe?) It doesn't say whether he loved her after the divorce.

He was married from 1980 till the divorce in 2005. He loved his former wife. To me it seems like he loved her while she was his "former wife" - he loved her after the divorce.
levylee
Posted: Thursday, September 24, 2020 7:53:21 AM
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Drag0nspeaker wrote:

I think that maybe there would be (with enough context) an implication in the word "former" but, as Romany says, as a single sentence, it doesn't really explain enough.

He was married from 1980 till the divorce in 2005. He loved his wife. He loved her while they were married and something happened (she didn't love him? maybe?) It doesn't say whether he loved her after the divorce.

He was married from 1980 till the divorce in 2005. He loved his former wife. To me it seems like he loved her while she was his "former wife" - he loved her after the divorce.


Excuse me!
"previous" means happening or existing before something or someone else.
That is, my previous wife is a woman having marriage relation before I have marriage relation with my current wife.
But I have read "I remember the spokesperson for WHO answered by saying that China didn’t want it to be called SARS because of how bad the previous SARS was over there, in 2003, and this would cause people to become very fearful."
I don't know what is after SARS in time or in order?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, September 25, 2020 12:25:18 AM

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You are right that "previous" means "the one before something else" - so "my previous job" is the job before my current job.

The "original" SARS was a virus infection in 2002-2004.

It was a Coronavirus infection. If the 2020 CoVid-19 infection were called SARS, then the 2003 infection would be 'the previous SARS'.
However, if the new infection is not called SARS, then the 2003 one should not really be called "the previous SARS".

It is a hypothetical name.
levylee
Posted: Friday, September 25, 2020 1:57:17 AM
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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
You are right that "previous" means "the one before something else" - so "my previous job" is the job before my current job.

The "original" SARS was a virus infection in 2002-2004.

It was a Coronavirus infection. If the 2020 CoVid-19 infection were called SARS, then the 2003 infection would be 'the previous SARS'.
However, if the new infection is not called SARS, then the 2003 one should not really be called "the previous SARS".

It is a hypothetical name.

Thank you!
But for example, a dinosaur does not exist.dinosaur
If I want to use a modifier to describe it non-existence, could I say a former dinosaur or a previous dinosaur?
If you have any suggestion, please give me.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, September 25, 2020 1:30:28 PM

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If there WAS a dinosaur, but now there is NO dinosaur, one would normally use "former" - or, usually, nothing at all.

The dinoraur Tyranosaurus Rex existed millenia ago.
The former dinosaur Tyrannosaurus Rex existed millenia ago.


"Previous" is usually used to mean "the one before something else". "Former" can mean "one before nothing". So former would describe "non-existence".
_________________________

As a note on a similar subject, "previously" can be used in both cases. It is more vague than "previous".

John was previously the mayor. Now he is not.
John was previously the mayor. He is the one before the current mayor.
John was previously the mayor. There have been three other mayors since he was in office.
John was the previous mayor. He is the one before the current mayor.
John is a former mayor. Now he is not mayor.
John is a former mayor. There have been three other mayors since he was in office.
levylee
Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2020 5:04:05 AM
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So former would describe "non-existence".

Thank you! But is there any dictionary or book providing this meaning?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2020 7:21:52 AM

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former adj (prenominal)
1. belonging to or occurring in an earlier time: former glory.
2. having been at a previous time: a former colleague.
3. denoting the first or first mentioned of two: in the former case.

Collins English Dictionary.

The first definition covers it.
"something" occurred in an earlier time. It is not occurring now.
There used to be glory, now there is no glory. It's former glory.
levylee
Posted: Monday, September 28, 2020 1:52:54 AM
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Thank you!
But I am confused about the two meanings:
belonging to or occurring in an earlier time: former glory.
having been at a previous time: a former colleague.

According to the first, something did existed in past but disappear now.
Built in the 1920s, this former factory has been converted into eight boutique homes.


According to the two, something did existed in past and does exist now but be another thing.
L'Usine libertine hotel, dedicated to adults' pleasure, is a former factory turned into a design hotel.

I want to know why the "former factory" is used in different perspective view?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, September 28, 2020 2:14:16 AM

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It is no factory now.
There used to be a factory, but there is no factory now. There is a hotel instead.
The former factory is now a hotel.

It is no factory now.
There used to be a factory, but there is no factory now. There is just a piece of land.
The former factory is now an empty plot.

There is a factory now.
There used to be a factory producing cotton which closed - then a new factory making silk dresses opened.
The previous factory was a cotton-mill. The new one is a dress-maker's.
levylee
Posted: Monday, September 28, 2020 6:13:43 AM
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Thank you!
I have a question:
If I cut a shirt into a tank top, could I called the "tank top" is a former shirt.

I am also confused at that:
since my former name is used before my current name,
but why the former factory is not used before the hotel?
I really don't what is the difference?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, September 28, 2020 7:48:05 AM

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There are seven DIFFERENT meanings of "former".
Most of them have some connection to "before", "earlier", "in front of" (two are connected to the verb and noun "form").

In order to understand, you need to look at all the definitions, and try making up sentences using each definition (it may need several examples with some meanings).

The name you use first is your "fore-name" or "personal name", not your former name. Your other name is your "surname" or "family name".

Sometimes when people get married they change their names - Mary Smith, marrying John Brown, becomes Mary Brown. Her former name was Smith; her new name is Brown.

You can call me Tony or Anthony. The former name is what my friends use.

***************
What is your native language? It may help if we knew.
levylee
Posted: Monday, September 28, 2020 9:11:58 AM
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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
There are seven DIFFERENT meanings of "former".
Most of them have some connection to "before", "earlier", "in front of" (two are connected to the verb and noun "form").

In order to understand, you need to look at all the definitions, and try making up sentences using each definition (it may need several examples with some meanings).

The name you use first is your "fore-name" or "personal name", not your former name. Your other name is your "surname" or "family name".

Sometimes when people get married they change their names - Mary Smith, marrying John Brown, becomes Mary Brown. Her former name was Smith; her new name is Brown.

You can call me Tony or Anthony. The former name is what my friends use.

***************
What is your native language? It may help if we knew.

I live in Taiwan, and speak Chinese.
Excuse me!
If I amended the previous version of a book, I called the version existed before amendment as "the previous version", and the version existed after amendment as "the current version".
I think the "previous" and "current" have the tense marker for the version.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, September 28, 2020 12:39:24 PM

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Hi again.

It's possible that "previous" and "current" have a tense marker, but not always . . .

The previous US President was Obama; the current one is Trump.
That shows "previous" with a past tense and "current with the present.

The previous US President held office from 2008 to 2016. The current President took over in 2016.
That shows both presidents performing an action in the past tense.

They both show that Obama was earlier in time than Trump, and that Trump is still the existing president - but the tense of the sentence is not fixed.

Normally, if the verb is "to be", the tenses are past and present.

The previous edition of the book was the third edition; the current edition is the fourth.

***************
I don't know whether it helps, but I have two Chinese 'words' which both translate to "previous" and two which translate to "former":

早先的 Previous

在前的 Previous

从前的 Former

以前的 Former

I see that all contain the symbol 的, and three of them contain 前的.
Does that help at all?
levylee
Posted: Monday, September 28, 2020 1:08:04 PM
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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Hi again.

It's possible that "previous" and "current" have a tense marker, but not always . . .

The previous US President was Obama; the current one is Trump.
That shows "previous" with a past tense and "current with the present.

The previous US President held office from 2008 to 2016. The current President took over in 2016.
That shows both presidents performing an action in the past tense.

They both show that Obama was earlier in time than Trump, and that Trump is still the existing president - but the tense of the sentence is not fixed.

Normally, if the verb is "to be", the tenses are past and present.

The previous edition of the book was the third edition; the current edition is the fourth.

***************
I don't know whether it helps, but I have two Chinese 'words' which both translate to "previous" and two which translate to "former":

早先的 Previous

在前的 Previous

从前的 Former

以前的 Former

I see that all contain the symbol 的, and three of them contain 前的.
Does that help at all?

Since the factory converted into a hotel, we call the hotel is a former factory, which is allowed.
If I cut a shirt into a tank top, could we called the "tank top" is a former shirt.
Because everything changes, if I can convert a carbon solid to a diamond,could I call the diamond is a former carbon solid.
I can't realize the difference of the above sentences?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2020 3:30:51 AM

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There is really no difference. "Former" means "used to be" - it doesn't say whether the thing now exists in a different form, or doesn't exist at all.

His former shirt is now a tank-top.
The former piece of coal, after being processed by heat and pressure, is now worth thousands as a diamond.
Richard the Lionheart was a former king of England.
The former factory became a warehouse and is now a hotel.
The former factory is now not there.
levylee
Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2020 4:51:12 AM
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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
There is really no difference. "Former" means "used to be" - it doesn't say whether the thing now exists in a different form, or doesn't exist at all.

His former shirt is now a tank-top.
The former piece of coal, after being processed by heat and pressure, is now worth thousands as a diamond.
Richard the Lionheart was a former king of England.
The former factory became a warehouse and is now a hotel.
The former factory is now not there.

Thank you!
He changed an arrow to a line.
If I want to say "please be back to the X arrow", which of the following can be used for X:
(1) former-> I think it is not OK.
(2) formerly-used
(3) formerly-selected
(4) formerly-drawn

Of course, "empty" is OK, but I want to use a modifier, could you give me any advice?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2020 8:01:55 AM

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I don't think any of them would be wrong.

Normally (as you say) would be "empty".
"Please change it back to the arrow."

Possibly you may see "Please change it to the former arrow." There is no need to have both the modifier and "back" - they both do the same 'job' in the sentence.

**************
As another note-
Because the current choice/selection is 'line' and the one before that was 'arrow', you could ALSO use "previous/previously". Also some less-formal ones.

The most likely ones are:
"Please change it back to the arrow."
"Can you go back to the arrow you had before?"

"Please change it to the former arrow."
"Please change it to the previously-selected arrow
These last two seem rather formal, but they don't sound bad.
Romany
Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2020 10:34:31 AM
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levylee -

Perhaps it would help to know that "former" is used to say something once was something else - i.e. a former shirt becomes a tank top; the former Miss Rodgers is now the current Mrs. Anderson; the former President is now a used-car salesman; the former private house was turned into a school in 1997.

"Former" is used when something has been re-purposed, changed, converted, to something else.

"Previous" means 'the one that came before'. The "previous" thing is one that happened/occurred/was invented before the time we are speaking of.




levylee
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 1:47:39 AM
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Thank you, Drag0nspeaker and Romany.

But I have a puzzle about the concrete noun modified with "former".

A former shirt becomes a tank top.
The tank top is the former shirt.

If the two sentences are allowed, I can change the term "former shirt" to "tank top".
Therefore, after changing, I will get a strange sentence "the tank top is the tank top".Eh? Eh?

If I bought a shirt which was too big, I told someone how to do.

Could I say I cut the (shirt/former shirt) to a tank top.

Also, in my example, "Please change it to the former arrow."
In my understanding, I say the line is the former arrow.
But if someone say please change the line to former arrow, there is something strange.(please change the line to the former arrow=the line).
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 7:00:14 AM
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The purpose of using "former" is just to give some additional information.

You have a tank top.That's a fact. The fact that it was once a shirt - or a curtain or anything else - does not affect the fact that it is now a tank top.

She is Mrs. Anderson. The fact that she was once Miss Rogers does not affect the fact that she is now Mrs. Anderson.

"There's my school!" the fact that it was once a private house does not affect the fact that it is now my school.

"He is a used-car salesman." The fact that he was once a President does not affect the fact that he is now a used-car salesman.

That's why I said: "Former" is used when something has been re-purposed, changed, converted, to something else." It tells us that something "was once" something else...but what it once was does not affect what it is now.
"She was once Miss Rogers."
"My tank top was once a shirt."
"My school was once a private house."
"He was once the President."

are all alternative ways to say "former". BUT whatever something once was does not affect what it has become now.

(Which is why "the tank top is the tank top" is not correct.)
Audiendus
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 8:53:02 AM
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levylee wrote:
A former shirt becomes a tank top.
The tank top is the former shirt.

If the two sentences are allowed, I can change the term "former shirt" to "tank top".
Therefore, after changing, I will get a strange sentence "the tank top is the tank top".Eh? Eh?

But this applies to all sentences of the form "A is B". For example:

Paris is the capital of France.
Change "the capital of France" to "Paris":
Paris is Paris. Eh?

levylee wrote:
If I bought a shirt which was too big, I told someone how to do.

Could I say I cut the (shirt/former shirt) to a tank top.

I would leave out "former" here. At the time that you cut it, it was a shirt, not a former shirt.

levylee wrote:
Also, in my example, "Please change it to the former arrow."
In my understanding, I say the line is the former arrow.
But if someone say please change the line to former arrow, there is something strange.(please change the line to the former arrow=the line).

We would not say "change it to the former arrow". Do you mean "Please change it back to the arrow"?
levylee
Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 9:53:47 AM
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Audiendus wrote:
levylee wrote:
A former shirt becomes a tank top.
The tank top is the former shirt.

If the two sentences are allowed, I can change the term "former shirt" to "tank top".
Therefore, after changing, I will get a strange sentence "the tank top is the tank top".Eh? Eh?

But this applies to all sentences of the form "A is B". For example:

Paris is the capital of France.
Change "the capital of France" to "Paris":
Paris is Paris. Eh?

levylee wrote:
If I bought a shirt which was too big, I told someone how to do.

Could I say I cut the (shirt/former shirt) to a tank top.

I would leave out "former" here. At the time that you cut it, it was a shirt, not a former shirt.

levylee wrote:
Also, in my example, "Please change it to the former arrow."
In my understanding, I say the line is the former arrow.
But if someone say please change the line to former arrow, there is something strange.(please change the line to the former arrow=the line).

We would not say "change it to the former arrow". Do you mean "Please change it back to the arrow"?

Thank you!
But in "at the time that you cut it, it was a shirt, not a former shirt", why can I call the tank top is a former shirt?
For example, he was a president but is not now. He is a former president.
In "Please change it back to the arrow", if I want to use a modifier for the "arrow", "the previously-selected" is suitable?
If you have any suggestion, could give me? Thank you!
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