"He married the former Jane Smith and they had 3 children."

What does former mean in this sentence?

  • It simply means that the woman is no longer called Jane Smith.
    – Simon B
    Oct 10 '15 at 22:39
  • "Former president" would be someone who once was president but is no more. In the above, Jane Smith is now presumably named Jane SomeOtherName.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 10 '15 at 22:42
  • 1
    In some contexts you may see "Jane Othername (née Smith)" where née is the French for "born (with the name)"
    – Jim Mack
    Oct 10 '15 at 23:55

The lady's last name was Smith before the marriage. Now she probably goes by another name:

Former: 2. Having been so in the past: a former ambassador; his former boss.


  • Thank you all , the lady mentioned in the sentence was using her married name, but her husband mentioned her as the former Jane Smith my friend thinks they are probably divorced
    – georgio
    Oct 11 '15 at 0:18

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