Elder: It is an adjective that can be used only when you are talking about people.
Older:It is an adjective, as well. But, unlike elder, it can be used for people as well as for animals and things.
Use of Elder
Elder is an adjective that can be used only when you are talking about people.
My elder daughter is a doctor.
It is not used for objects, places or animals.
You cannot say, ‘They have found an elder version of the book’.
Elder cannot be used to make direct comparisons.
So, while comparing the age of two people, the traditional than is not added after elder.
Incorrect: James is elder than Lara.Correct: James is elder to Lara.
Use of Older
Older is an adjective, as well, unlike elder, it can be used for people as well as for animals and things.
They have found an older version of the book.
Older is sometimes used after get or grow to indicate aging.
You will understand this once you getolder.
Older is also used to compare the age of two people or objects. Here, we add than after older.
James is olderthan Lara.The Indus Valley civilization is believed to be olderthan the Egyptian civilization.
Some people like to use older while talking about someone who is ‘more’ in age or tenure.
While it conveys the idea clearly, it fails to express the respect that elder does.
White is an older member of the academy.
Also, older cannot be used as a noun.
Elder or Older: What to Use Where?
Elder can be used only for people. So, while talking about anything else, use older!Get/grow is followed by older, and never elder.Need a noun for old people? Use elder, and not older.