Prior vs Previous

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What’s the difference between them?

Prior

Meaning:

earlier in time.

Examples:

1. She had a prior commitment and couldn't attend the last-minute meeting.

2. You must complete the prerequisite course prior to enrolling in the advanced class.

3. His prior experience as a teacher made him well-prepared for the role of school principal.

Previous

Meaning:

coming before or existing before something else in time, order, or importance.

Examples:

1. The previous owner of the house left behind some old furniture in the attic.

2. In the previous chapter of the novel, the main character faced a significant challenge.

3. The previous year's sales figures were used as a benchmark for measuring the company's growth.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Prior

1. Antecedent

2. Foregoing

3. Antecedent

4. Preceding

5. Precedent

1. After

2. Subsequent

3. Succeeding

4. Later

5. Subsequently

Previous

1. Prior

2. Former

3. Preceding

4. Antecedent

5. Earlier/Prior to Now

1. Future

2. Stop, Cease

3. Before, Prior

4. Disapprove, Reject

5. Undo, Reverse

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Prior", "Previous".

1. Prior usually refers to time, while previous usually refers to order or importance.

2. Prior implies something before something else in time, while previous refers to a sequence of events or objects.

3. Prior is used to describe something that happened earlier than something else in time.

4. Previous is used to describe something that happened earlier than something else in order or importance.

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Frequently asked questions

When should 'prior' be used?

'Prior' should be used when referring to something that happened earlier in time. For example, 'I visited the museum prior to leaving the city.'

When is the appropriate context for using 'previous'?

'Previous' should be used when referring to something that happened before something else in time, order, or importance. For example, 'The previous tenant left the apartment in poor condition.'

Do 'prior' and 'previous' share the same pronunciation?

No, 'prior' and 'previous' do not share the same pronunciation. 'Prior' is pronounced /praɪr/, while previous is pronounced /ˈpriː.vi.əs/.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

One common mistake people make when using these words is using the wrong one to describe a situation. For example, using 'prior' instead of 'previous' when referring to something that happened before something else in time, order, or importance. Additionally, people often confuse the pronunciation of the two words, using a long 'i' sound for 'previous' and a short 'i' sound for 'prior'.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. We heard the ___________ forecast before we decided to go out. (Prior or Previous)

2. The ___________ date for submission is tomorrow. (Prior or Previous)

3. We will need to evaluate the ___________ results before moving on. (Prior or Previous)

4. The ___________ meeting was not as successful as hoped. (Prior or Previous)

5. Make sure to review the ___________ reports. (Prior or Previous)

6. She was hesitant to make a decision without the ___________ consultation.(Prior or Previous)

1. We heard the prior forecast before we decided to go out.

Explanation: The word prior is used to describe an action that happened before the present time.

2. The previous date for submission is tomorrow.

Explanation: The word previous is used to describe something that happened before the current moment in time.

3. We will need to evaluate the prior results before moving on.

Explanation: The word prior is used to refer to something that happened before the present time.

4. The previous meeting was not as successful as hoped.

Explanation: The word previous is used to describe something that happened before the current moment in time.

5. Make sure to review the prior reports.

Explanation: The word prior is used to refer to something that happened before the present moment.

6. She was hesitant to make a decision without the prior consultation.

Explanation: The word prior is used to describe an action that happened before the present time.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.