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Abovesaid vs. Aforesaid — What's the Difference?

By Urooj Arif & Maham Liaqat — Updated on May 7, 2024
Abovesaid and aforesaid are both adjectives referring to something mentioned earlier in a text; abovesaid emphasizes location in the text, while aforesaid focuses more on the mention itself.
Abovesaid vs. Aforesaid — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Abovesaid and Aforesaid


Key Differences

Abovesaid is typically used to refer specifically to something mentioned previously in a document, emphasizing its position above the current reference point. Whereas aforesaid also refers to prior mentions, but with an emphasis on the reference being formally acknowledged before in the discussion.
Abovesaid often appears in legal or formal documents to denote elements that have been discussed in the preceding text. On the other hand, aforesaid tends to be used more broadly in legal contexts to indicate any prior mention that is legally binding or significant, regardless of its position.
The usage of abovesaid can serve as a directive to look at a specific part of a text that appears earlier. In contrast, aforesaid acts more as a generic reference, pointing back to a previously mentioned subject without focusing on its exact textual position.
In practical applications, abovesaid is less common today and may appear outdated or overly formal in everyday usage. Conversely, aforesaid, while still formal, is more commonly encountered in legal documents, contracts, and decrees.
Both terms are mainly found in written language and are rarely used in everyday spoken English. Aforesaid, however, retains a slightly more frequent usage due to its common presence in legal and formal writings.

Comparison Chart


Formal, especially legal
Formal, especially legal

Usage Frequency

Less common
More common


Textual position
Prior mention

Modern Usage

Considered outdated
Still in use, though formal

Common Environments

Legal documents
Legal documents, contracts, official statements

Compare with Definitions


Previously specified within a document.
The abovesaid terms apply to all parties involved.


Previously mentioned or referred to.
The aforesaid article defines the responsibilities clearly.


Mentioned earlier in the text.
Refer to the abovesaid clause for more details.


Referred to in the text before.
The aforesaid examples show typical cases of this issue.


Noted in the foregoing sections of a text.
As per the abovesaid agreement, the payment was made.


Mentioned before in a document.
The aforesaid conditions must be met by all applicants.


Indicated above in a written context.
The abovesaid figures illustrate the trend clearly.


Discussed earlier, especially in legal contexts.
The aforesaid stipulations are binding for all parties.


Discussed prior in the text.
The abovesaid arguments are essential for understanding the case.


Stated or written earlier.
According to the aforesaid rules, this procedure is mandatory.


Mentioned or recited before.


Spoken of earlier.


Mentioned or recited before.


Previously stated; said or named before.


Said before, or in a preceding part; already described or identified.


Being the one previously mentioned or spoken of;
Works of all the aforementioned authors
Said party has denied the charges

Common Curiosities

What is the primary use of abovesaid?

Abovesaid is primarily used in legal or formal documents to refer to something mentioned earlier in the text.

Is aforesaid still relevant in modern writing?

Yes, aforesaid remains relevant, especially in formal and legal writings.

How is aforesaid different from abovesaid in usage?

Aforesaid is used more broadly to refer to anything previously mentioned in a text, not necessarily limited by its position.

What is the advantage of using aforesaid in legal documents?

Aforesaid helps clarify references to earlier mentioned terms or clauses, ensuring legal clarity.

How does the use of abovesaid affect the clarity of a document?

Using abovesaid can enhance clarity by directing the reader to a specific part of the document mentioned earlier.

Why is abovesaid considered outdated?

Abovesaid is seen as outdated due to its less frequent modern usage and very formal tone.

Does the use of abovesaid limit the readability of a text?

It can limit readability for those unfamiliar with formal or legal jargon.

How do modern lawyers view the use of aforesaid?

Many modern lawyers still use aforesaid for its precision and formal appropriateness in legal texts.

Can abovesaid and aforesaid be used interchangeably?

While they can often be used interchangeably in legal contexts, abovesaid specifically points to a higher position in the text.

Where would you typically find the word abovesaid?

Typically, abovesaid is found in legal documents and formal agreements.

Can abovesaid appear in non-legal texts?

Yes, though rare, abovesaid can appear in any formal written text needing precise referential clarity.

Are there modern alternatives to using abovesaid and aforesaid?

Modern alternatives include phrases like "mentioned above" or "previously stated."

Is there a difference in the legal implications of abovesaid and aforesaid?

Legally, both serve similar purposes to refer back to previously stated terms or conditions, without significant difference in implication.

What is a common scenario for using aforesaid?

A common scenario is in legal documents where terms or obligations referenced earlier need to be reiterated for emphasis.

What makes aforesaid preferable in formal communications?

Its formal tone and the legal precision it brings to documents make aforesaid preferable in formal communications.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.
Co-written by
Maham Liaqat

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