Following vs. After: What's the Difference?
"Following" and "After" both indicate succession, but "Following" often implies a result or consequence, while "After" suggests a time or event preceding another.
"Following" and "After" embody the concept of succession, though their applications diverge. "Following" regularly communicates resultant or consequent actions, emphasizing a linkage. For instance, a change occurring "following" a decision implies a causal connection, highlighting the influential dynamic between the two events. Conversely, "After" merely identifies temporal succession without inherently inferring causality.
The temporal dimension is where "Following" and "After" converge and diverge. "Following" can be perceived as slightly more formal and often used in written contexts to elucidate sequential events with underlying relational implications. "After" demonstrates straightforward temporal sequence, denoting that one event occurs subsequently to another, but without innate causal implications.
In varied contexts, "Following" and "After" showcase their nuanced distinctions. "Following," besides temporal succession, can allude to allegiance or alignment, as in a group "following" a leader, implicating not just sequence but also alignment or adherence. "After," meanwhile, remains closely tied to temporality, albeit versatilely, without integrating allegiance or alignment nuances.
Grammar and syntax also spotlight their disparity. "Following" can function as a preposition, conjunction, adjective, or verb, indicating its syntactical versatility. For example, a team “following” a strategy (verb), or in the “following” week (adjective). "After," although flexible as a preposition, adverb, and conjunction, largely retains its temporal, sequential essence in sentences, such as coming "after" a meeting (preposition).
Can imply causality and act in various grammatical roles.
Primarily indicates temporal succession without implying causality.
Slightly more formal and often used in written contexts.
Common in both informal and formal language; widely used.
Can imply adherence or alignment (e.g., following a leader).
Largely sticks to indicating temporal sequence.
Can be a preposition, conjunction, adjective, or verb.
Can act as a preposition, adverb, and conjunction.
Utilized in varied contexts, including logical, temporal, and hierarchical.
Predominantly employed in temporal contexts.
Following and After Definitions
As a result of.
Following his resignation, a new CEO was appointed.
At a subsequent time.
They left after an hour.
In adherence or alignment to.
The disciples were following their spiritual leader.
In quest or pursuit of.
She traveled the world after fame.
He spoke to the press in the following week.
Behind in place or order
Z comes after Y in the alphabet.
Pursuing in order or sequence.
She visited the following cities: Paris, London, and Rome.
Next to or lower than in order or importance.
Subsequent to and because of.
Following the new law, several protests erupted.
In quest or pursuit of
Seek after fame.
Go after big money.
Coming next in time or order
In the following chapter.
Asked after you.
Now to be enumerated
The following people will report for duty.
Subsequent in time to; at a later time than
Come after dinner.
Blowing in the same direction as the course of a ship or aircraft. Used of wind.
Subsequent to and because of or regardless of
They are still friends after all their differences.
A group or gathering of admirers, adherents, or disciples
A lecturer with a large following.
Year after year.
The item or items to be mentioned next
Please buy the following.
In the style of or in imitation of
Satires after Horace.
Subsequent to; after
Following dinner, brandy was served in the study.
With the same or close to the same name as; in honor or commemoration of
Named after her mother.
Coming next, either in sequence or in time.
See the following section.
According to the nature or desires of; in conformity to
A tenor after my own heart.
About to be specified.
The following words have no definition...
Past the hour of
Five minutes after three.
(of a wind) Blowing in the direction of travel.
The following wind sped us on our way.
(Irish) Used with a present participle to indicate action that has just been completed
"Sure I'm after seeing him not five minutes ago" (James Joyce).
After, subsequent to.
Following the meeting, we all had a chat.
Behind; in the rear.
A group of followers, attendants or admirers; an entourage.
He had a loyal following.
At a later or subsequent time; afterward
Three hours after.
Departed shortly after.
Vocation; business; profession.
Subsequent in time or place; later; following
In after years.
(with definite article, treated as singular or plural) A thing or things to be mentioned immediately after.
The following is a recommendation letter from the president.
The following are the three most important questions.
Located near the stern of a vessel or the rear or an aircraft or spacecraft.
Present participle of follow
Following or subsequent to the time that
I saw them after I arrived.
One's followers, adherents, or dependents, collectively.
Vocation; business; profession.
Afters Chiefly British Dessert.
Next after; succeeding; ensuing; as, the assembly was held on the following day.
Behind; later in time; following.
I left the room, and the dog bounded after.
They lived happily ever after.
I might come next month, or the month after.
In the field of a telescope) In the direction from which stars are apparently moving (in consequence of the earth's rotation); as, a small star, north following or south following. In the direction toward which stars appear to move is called preceding.
Subsequently to; following in time; later than.
We had a few beers after the game.
The time is quarter after eight.
The Cold War began shortly after WWII.
After you with the salt/paper.
I told her to shut the door after her.
A group of followers or enthusiasts
He will leave a trail of destruction after him.
The act of pursuing in an effort to overtake or capture;
The culprit started to run and the cop took off in pursuit
In pursuit of, seeking.
He's after a job; run after him; inquire after her health.
Going or proceeding or coming after in the same direction;
The crowd of following cars made the occasion seem like a parade
Tried to outrun the following footsteps
In allusion to, in imitation of; following or referencing.
We named him after his grandfather; a painting after Leonardo da Vinci.
In the desired direction;
A following wind
Next in importance or rank.
The princess is next in line to the throne after the prince.
Immediately following in time or order;
The following day
Next in line
The next president
The next item on the list
As a result of.
After your bad behaviour, you will be punished.
About to be mentioned or specified;
The following items
In spite of.
After all that has happened, he is still my friend.
I can't believe that, after all our advice against gambling, you walked into that casino!
Used to indicate recent completion of an activity
I was after finishing my dinner when there was a knock on the door.
(dated) According to an author or text.
Denoting the aim or object; concerning; in relation to.
To look after workmen; to enquire after a friend; to thirst after righteousness
(obsolete) According to the direction and influence of; in proportion to; befitting.
Signifies that the action of the clause it starts takes place before the action of the other clause.
I went home after we had decided to call it a day.
(dated) Later; second (of two); next, following, subsequent
At or towards the stern of a ship.
The after gun is mounted aft.
The after gun is abaft the forward gun.
Next; later in time; subsequent; succeeding; as, an after period of life.
Hinder; nearer the rear.
Behind in place; as, men in line one after another.
Below in rank; next to in order.
Codrus after Ph bus sings the best.
Later in time; subsequent; as, after supper, after three days. It often precedes a clause. Formerly that was interposed between it and the clause.
After I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.
Subsequent to and in consequence of; as, after what you have said, I shall be careful.
Subsequent to and notwithstanding; as, after all our advice, you took that course.
Moving toward from behind; following, in search of; in pursuit of.
Ye shall not go after other gods.
After whom is the king of Israel come out?
Denoting the aim or object; concerning; in relation to; as, to look after workmen; to inquire after a friend; to thirst after righteousness.
In imitation of; in conformity with; after the manner of; as, to make a thing after a model; a picture after Rubens; the boy takes after his father.
Our eldest son was named George after his uncle.
According to; in accordance with; in conformity with the nature of; as, he acted after his kind.
He shall not judge after the sight of his eyes.
They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh.
According to the direction and influence of; in proportion to; befitting.
He takes greatness of kingdoms according to bulk and currency, and not after their intrinsic value.
Subsequently in time or place; behind; afterward; as, he follows after.
It was about the space of three hours after.
Located farther aft
Happening at a time subsequent to a reference time;
He apologized subsequently
He's going to the store but he'll be back here later
It didn't happen until afterward
Two hours after that
Behind or in the rear;
And Jill came tumbling after
Behind in place or position.
He finished the race after her.
Subsequent to and typically in consequence of.
He was happy after receiving the award.
Concerning or about.
He inquired after her health.
Does "After" function as an adjective?
No, "after" is primarily utilized as a preposition or conjunction and sometimes as an adverb.
Can "Following" be utilized as a noun?
Yes, "following" as a noun refers to a group of supporters or adherents, e.g., "She has a large following."
Can "Following" suggest a consequence?
Yes, "following" often implies an event occurring as a result of another, e.g., "Following the announcement, they cheered."
Are "Following" and "After" interchangeable?
While sometimes used interchangeably, "following" often implies a direct result, while "after" indicates temporal sequence without causality.
Can "Following" denote alignment or adherence?
Yes, "following" can indicate alignment or adherence, e.g., "following a leader" suggests allegiance.
How does "Following" imply relational dynamics?
"Following" can imply a consequential or resultant relationship between events, often indicating causality.
Is "After" used to imply causality?
Generally, "after" indicates temporal order without inherently implying causality between events.
Is "After" always tied to temporal concepts?
Predominantly yes, "after" primarily indicates something occurring subsequent to another in time.
Is "Following" a versatile word in terms of grammatical function?
Yes, "following" can function as a preposition, adjective, noun, or verb, showcasing its versatility.
Can "Following" act as a preposition?
Yes, "following" can act as a preposition, e.g., "Following the speech, they applauded."
Can "Following" indicate position in a sequence?
Yes, "following" can indicate subsequent position, e.g., "The following words were heartwarming."
Does "After" imply result or outcome?
Not necessarily, "after" generally indicates the temporal sequence without implying a resultant relationship.
Is "After" a formal term?
"After" is neutral and is suitable for both formal and informal contexts.
Can "After" signify pursuit?
Yes, "after" can indicate pursuit, e.g., "The cat ran after the mouse."
What grammatical role does "After" primarily play?
"After" mainly serves as a preposition, but it can also be an adverb or conjunction.
Can "Following" suggest time without causality?
While it often implies causality, "following" can be used purely temporally, e.g., "Following dinner, we went for a walk."
Can “Following” and “After” be used in both written and spoken English?
Yes, both "following" and "after" can be utilized in various contexts in both written and spoken English.
Can "Following" be used to denote the next item or element?
Yes, "following" can refer to the next in a sequence, e.g., "The following chapter discusses biology."
Is "After" used in expressions of time?
Yes, "after" is widely used in expressions of time, e.g., "after a while" or "shortly after."
Can "After" be used to express desire or intention?
Yes, "after" can express desire, e.g., "He is after the truth," indicating pursuit or intention.
Written bySawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited bySumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.