I often hear students make mistakes with this word, so here are some simple examples to help remember the right ways to use “later“. 

1. After something
The Past 

– I finished work at five. Later, I went running. 
– She ate lunch at eleven and had a snack later

The Present
– I usually start work at eight, and check email a little later
– He sometimes meets his friends at school, and later, they go out. 

The Future
– I’m a little busy right now, so I’ll call you back later
– They’ll meet me at the airport, and later, we’ll have dinner. 

2. Later vs After That
What’s the difference between “later” and “after that”? They are both unclear amounts of time, but “after that” is closer to the first event. 

– I finished work at five. Later, I went running. = long time after work
– I finished work at five. After that, I went running. = short time after work

3. Late / Later
Late = after an expected time 

– It’s ten fifteen. The ten o’clock bus is fifteen minutes late. 
– Class started at nine, but I was ten minutes late. 

Later = more late than something or someone 
– Yesterday, the bus was fifteen minutes late. Today, it’s even later! 
– I got to class ten minutes late, but my friend was later than me. 

4. Common expressions 
– Don’t be late! 
– Sorry I’m running late! 
– See you later, alligator! 
– Later skater!
– Better late than never. 
– Happy belated birthday. 
– Belated Merry Christmas!

Like this post? Did I forget something? Let me know! 

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