student asking question

Doesn't the word "existing" itself has the same meaning as "preexisting?" What's the main difference between these two phrases?


Native speaker’s answer


I see what you're saying! The main difference is that "preexisting" indicates "existence" before something else. It places the existence of something in relation to the existence or happening of something else. So these motifs existed before the new forms. Ex: Many believe that dinosaurs preexisted humans. Ex: We took preexisting songs and made them into new songs. Ex: People with preexisting conditions should be wary of taking this medication. => If people have a medical condition before taking the medication.

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