Grammar Info
N3 Lesson 10: 3/20

前者(ぜんしゃ)は~後者(こうしゃ)は
the former・the latter, the first・the second

Structure
前者 + (Comment)
後者 + (Comment) 
Details
Register Standard
使用域 一般
Information
Used in almost exactly the same way as ‘the former’ and ‘the latter’ in English, 前者(ぜんしゃ) and 後者(こうしゃ) and two nouns that appear frequently in Japanese. The 副助詞(ふくじょし) (adverbial particle) は will appear after these words, to express contrast between the two.
前者(ぜんしゃ) will be used for ‘the former’, while 後者(こうしゃ) will represent ‘the latter’. Both 前者(ぜんしゃ) and 後者(こうしゃ) appear at the beginning of their own statements, with a specific comment about each being made after は.
  • どの大学(だいがく)に行(い)くか迷(まよ)っています前者(ぜんしゃ)は家(いえ)近(ちか)い学費(がくひ)高(たか)い、後者(こうしゃ)は家(いえ)から遠(とお)い学費(がくひ)半分(はんぶん)ぐらい安(やす)い。
    I am undecided on which college to go to. The Former is close to my house, but the tuition is expensive. The latter is far from my house but the tuition is almost half the price.
  • 地下鉄(ちかてつ)新幹線(しんかんせん)、前者(ぜんしゃ)は地下(ちか)ゆっくりはしり、後者(こうしゃ)は速(はや)いスピード地上(ちじょう)走(はし)る。
    Subways and bullet trains. The former runs slowly underground, and the latter runs above ground at a high speed.
Caution
Statements made that use 前者(ぜんしゃ) and 後者(こうしゃ) require some sort of relationship in what is being compared. Usually, this will be obvious within the context of the sentence, but is something that you will need to be careful of when making your own sentences.
  • こっち車(くるま)こっち車(くるま)どっち買(か)おう。前者(ぜんしゃ)は安(やす)くて古(ふる)くて、後者(こうしゃ)は高(たか)くて新(あたら)しい。 (Natural)
    This car and this car, which should I buy? The former is cheap and old, and the latter is expensive and new.
  • 明日(あした)動物園(どうぶつえん)に行(い)くか今夜(こんや)本(ほん)読(よ)むかで、迷(まよ)っています前者(ぜんしゃ)は動物(どうぶつ)いて空(す)いている後者(こうしゃ)は寝(ね)る前(まえ)にゆっくりできる。 (Unnatural)
    I am undecided on whether to go to the zoo tomorrow, or to read a book tonight. The former has animals and isn't crowded, but the latter is relaxing before bed.
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A社(しゃ)とB社(しゃ)、どちらに就職(しゅうしょく)するか迷(まよ)っています。
前者(ぜんしゃ)は給料(きゅうりょう)がよく、後者(こうしゃ)は環境(かんきょう)がいいのです。
I am having trouble deciding between company A and company B.
The former's pay is good and the latter has a good working environment.
Play  
宿泊(しゅくはく)場所(ばしょ)の候補(こうほ)が二(ふた)つあります
前者(ぜんしゃ)は温泉(おんせん)があり、後者(こうしゃ)はご飯(はん)がおいしいです。
There are two choices for places to stay.
The first has hot springs, the second has delicious food.
Play  
交通(こうつう)の札(ふだ)には切符(きっぷ)と整理券(せいりけん)の2つがあります。前者(ぜんしゃ)は電車(でんしゃ)乗(の)るために必要(ひつよう)なもので、後者(こうしゃ)はバス乗(の)るときに取(と)ります。
There are two types of transportation tickets: “kippu’ and “seiriken”. The former is a thing needed for getting on a train, and the latter is taken when boarding on a bus.
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