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The latter should only be used to refer to the second of two things or people which have already been mentioned.
You use the former to talk about the first of two things already mentioned.
If you are talking about three or more things or people, don't use 'the latter' or 'the former'. Use an expression with the last or the first.
If you are mentioning things for the first time, don't use 'the former' or 'the latter'. Use the first or the second.
|Noun||1.||latter - the second of two or the second mentioned of two; "Tom and Dick were both heroes but only the latter is remembered today"|
second - following the first in an ordering or series; "he came in a close second"
former - the first of two or the first mentioned of two; "Tom and Dick were both heroes but only the former is remembered today"
|Adj.||1.||latter - referring to the second of two things or persons mentioned (or the last one or ones of several); "in the latter case"|
former - referring to the first of two things or persons mentioned (or the earlier one or ones of several); "the novel was made into a film in 1943 and again in 1967; I prefer the former version to the latter one"
the latter → ce dernier(cette dernière)
He tracked down his cousin and uncle. The latter was sick → Il retrouva la trace de son cousin et de son oncle. Ce dernier était malade.
Men still outnumber women, though the latter are catching up → Les hommes sont toujours plus nombreux que les femmes, bien que ces dernières soient en train de refaire leur retard.
The latter is the more expensive of the two systems
BUT Ce dernier système est le plus coûteux des deux.
the former ..., the latter ... → le premier ..., le second ...
The former lives in the US, the latter in Australia → Le premier habite aux États-Unis, le second en Australie.