English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Does it make sense to say:

Please consider this email as a meantime brief report.

If yes, why? and if no, how can it be fixed?

Edit By the above sentence, I want to say that this email is not the main report but, in the meantime, I just want to update you about the status and I'll send you another email later.

share|improve this question
What dictionary did you find listing meantime as an adjective? – tchrist Apr 9 '13 at 21:52
You know, above is also not an adjective. – tchrist Apr 9 '13 at 21:54
@tchrist: that's a great comment, but I heard it many many times. Are you too picky or is it really wrong? How should I fix it then? "By the sentence above ..." is OK? – Helium Apr 9 '13 at 22:02
Just move the word ahead: Meanwhile (not meantime, though), please consider this email as a brief report. – Kris Apr 10 '13 at 5:18
@Mitch: I'm sorry - I've been trying to firm up this comment. At personal.stevens.edu/~ysakamot/creativity/carin%20dual.pdf Christina L. Gagne avers: 'An interesting feature of the English language is that any noun can be used as an adjective.' Since 'meantime' is listed as a noun (AHD, Collins etc), if Gagne is correct (and 'noun modifiers' are certainly extremely common), then this usage is 'licensed'. I'd say this wouldn't convert it to an adjective. And I wouldn't use it myself. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 10 '13 at 11:41
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You are looking for interim, preliminary, draft, or progress. (Watch the adjective order, they go after brief.) You are not looking for meanwhile, which is not an adjective, as a dictionary of your choice will be quick to point out.

share|improve this answer

"Meantime" is a noun and an adverb, not an adjective.

As I do not understand the true meaning you are attempting to convey, I cannot provide advice on how to correct your statement.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.