I'm writing a document about my study progress. I'm about to refer to the tutor I had last year for a certain school subject that I didn't pass. So I have to write about catching up and handing in the work.

I'm not sure if the word 'former' can be used here, since I've got no tutor right now. Does former immediatly mean that you have to have a current one, like it's a previous one? Or is it ok to use it in the sense of this WAS my tutor, and I don't have one right now.

  • 1
    "Former" just means used to be. You may have a former wife (i.e., you two got a divorce) and still be unmarried. – deadrat Sep 24 '15 at 9:14
  • This means it's oke to use the word in this context right? – Matthijs van Hest Sep 24 '15 at 9:20
  • It's ok, OK, or okay. – deadrat Sep 24 '15 at 9:36
  • It's a common mistake for Dutch people, I'm aware of the spelling but thnx for noting :) – Matthijs van Hest Sep 24 '15 at 9:57
  • Not to worry. I assure you that your English is vastly superior to my Dutch. – deadrat Sep 24 '15 at 10:15

'Former' is acceptable but the wording has to make it clear that the person is 'your former tutor' and not 'a former tutor' otherwise it might imply they are retired or deceased.

Other possibilities are one-time, erstwhile and quondam.

It would help of you gave some context. Who is this document to be read by?

  • The document will (by coincidence) be read by the same person. If not, it will be read by another tutor or a mentor. Thanks for the answer. It looks complete. – Matthijs van Hest Sep 24 '15 at 10:00
  • Whilst I accept entirely what @deadrat said in his comments, I do think that it might be a little clearer if you spelt it out precisely by saying the person who was then my tutor. There does seem to be a little room for confusion by using former, especially as you say that the person reading it will be that very 'former tutor'. – WS2 Sep 24 '15 at 10:24

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