Elder vs. Older

Difference Between Elder and Older

Elder and older are two words that are often puzzled when it comes to their usage.  As a matter of fact both the words, elder and older are used as proportional’s. It is remarkable to note that elder and eldest are often used before the words brother, sister, son, daughter, grandson and granddaughter. Observe the two sentences

1. My elder brother is in the States.

2. My elder son is in school.

In both the sentences you can see that the word elder is used with the two nouns, brother and son correspondingly conveying the comparative idea. It suggests that one person has only two brothers and the other person has only two sons respectively.

The only focal difference between the two usages elder and older is that the word ‘older’ is beginning to be acknowledged as the substitute for the word ‘elder’ and as a matter of fact the usage ‘elder’ is gradually fading from the Grammar scene. The recent usages of the word ‘older’ are

1. My older brother is in the States.

2. My older grandson is in college.

Sometimes the word ‘older’ is used in the sense of ‘advanced by age’ and therefore gives a suggested connotation as in the sentence ‘my older sister lives in England’. In this sentence you get the idea that the sister is advanced in age and is no longer young in age. Of course this is a unique usage of the word ‘older’. Otherwise it is used only as a substitute for the word ‘elder’. The writer in the English language often believes these two words as identical. These are the differences among the two words, elder and older used in the English language.


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