Former Coworker Vs Ex Coworker: Are Both Correct To Use?

We encounter a conundrum when bringing up a former coworker in a discussion about our current jobs. Which of the two terms—Former Coworker or Ex-Coworker—should be used? Which should I use? A former coworker can come off as snobbish or too formal. Or will it seem impolite and overly personal if I say “ex-corker”? In this essay, we’ll go into detail on how to properly refer to the workers you collaborated with without appearing incoherent. Let us read in detail “Former Coworker Vs Ex Coworker”

Former Coworker Vs Ex Coworker

Former Coworker Vs Ex Coworker

While both “former coworker” and “ex-coworker” are acceptable in polite conversation, the former is favoured in a business setting since it has a more relaxed tone. Although there is no hard and fast rule, imagine that you are writing a letter or an email and you are referring to the individual you once worked with as a “former coworker,” and you may say “ex-coworker” without seeming awkward.

How do you tell if former coworker or ex-coworker is the right word?

Your position and preferences will strongly influence whether and how you refer to the aforementioned person who is no longer employed by you. You might use the phrase “my former coworker” if you are still employed by the organisation and are speaking for the first time about someone who is no longer a team member. Jack was constantly punctual. There is no need to be so formal about the coworkers you had if you have already left the organisation. You might use Jenna, an ex-coworker of mine, as an example. Around her, I always felt so stuffy. So much will rely on how and where you want to refer to your former employee.

What Separates the Terms Former and Ex?

Let’s contrast former and ex separately to see how to employ them in a phrase.

When is Former used?

What does “former” mean?

The definition of the term “former” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “coming before time.” It can also signify connected to or having happened in the past. It is an adjective, i.e., it is placed before a noun.

Synonyms of Former

The terms “old,” “occasionally,” “past,” and “prior” are a few that have the same meaning as the first. Similar to their synonyms, these words are written before the noun. When comparing two items, former is sometimes used as “first mentioned.”

Example Sentences for the Term Former

  • As an adjective of preceding or earlier

“I attended this school in the past.”

“Former Union President having left the position last year,”

  • When comparing two items, as was stated in the outset, 

“Lemon and Orange are both fruits, although the former fruit is more acidic than the latter.”

When is ex used?

Definition of ex

Ex- is a prefix used before words such as nouns and verbs.

  1. Extract, expel, exterior, and ex-directory all mean out of or outside of something.
  2. ex-wife, ex-president, and ex-husband who are all still alive. Between the ex and the connection term, a hyphen is always used in writing.

Synonyms of ex

Old, past, once, and prior are a few ex- synonyms.

  • Examples of sentences with the word “ex”
  1. Made from something

“The boy’s wisdom tooth was removed by the dentist.”

  1. Of a prior partnership

“My ex-wife and I are engaged in a custody dispute.”

To connect ex with the term relationship, a hyphen, or a single dash, is utilised. Ex is used to refer to someone from the history or somebody you were in a relationship with at some point.

How does language evolve?

The line, then, is there in the way we construct our phrases. Even though a phrase is grammatically perfect, it may nevertheless sound incorrect when said or heard. Additionally, there is the casual aspect of how we communicate with certain audiences at various times. For instance, you might take caution when speaking with your teacher in terms of your speech pattern and word choice. You would address them in a more official manner. At the same time, you would use looser language and sentence construction while speaking with friends or relatives. Using former coworkers and ex-coworkers carries the same risk.

When speaking to your buddy or your supervisor, you can use either ex-coworker or former coworker.

What about grammar conventions?

Some claim that the word former, as in “past girlfriends,” may be used to refer to all of your prior relationships in a single statement. On the other hand, you can use the phrase “my ex-girlfriend” while discussing your most recent relationship. There appears to be a connection to a particular period, then. There is nothing like this in the United States, where language regulations are less restrictive. The English language is becoming more casual, localised, and adaptable every day.

Therefore, it is now acceptable to refer to both “my current ex-girlfriend” and “all of my ex-girlfriends.” A former colleague and an ex-coworker are both comparable. In the US, using phrases like “all of your ex-coworkers” and “my final ex-coworker” in place of “former coworkers” is permissible.

Regarding the Situation-What You Are Discussing

In some situations, it might feel rather strange to use particular words. It is weird to say one term instead of another, even though they both imply the same thing. “I was warning her not to consume coffee before bed,” for instance. Although using saying in this context seems awkward, it has the same meaning as informing or requesting.

Do the words “former” and “ex” have positive or negative connotations?

  • Certain contend that ex- is an informal prefix or that it carries some unfavourable connotations.
  • For instance, the former CEO of XYZ Company is today the subject of a fraud and embezzlement inquiry.
  • The latter has a more positive undertone or a more professional attitude than the former.
  • For instance, the former CEO of Xyz Company was spotted last night at a charitable gathering.

Such headlines in the news are common. According to this reasoning, a current coworker might come out as negative or fairly informal in conversation, but a previous coworker is more positive or formal.

Final Thoughts

Taking into account every instance thus far, it always comes down to individual tastes. Now we have learnt about “Former Coworker Vs Ex Coworker”. Some people like ex, others former. One lesson to be learned from this is to refer to your coworkers as former coworkers when in a formal and professional situation. You can allude to them as ex-coworkers in a more relaxed, informal situation. Say “former coworker” if you are emailing your supervisor or during a job interview. Say “ex-coworker” if you are conversing with your pal in a bar or a café. However, there is practically any variation in the USA.

Former Coworker Vs Ex Coworker: Are Both Correct To Use?

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