Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

How one can say that a date must happen before other date, for intance:

The X starting date should be prior to the Y starting date.

Is this sentence idiomatic or there is another way of stating that ?

share|improve this question

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can say that one should precede the other.

share|improve this answer
    
On reflection, I like this answer as an alternative. –  Tony Balmforth Jul 18 '12 at 11:02

In the world of project management, you would say

The Y starting date depends upon the X starting date.

See this glossary of Project Management terms. (It does not define "depends upon" but rather uses it axiomatically.)

Depends upon would be stronger than the modal ("should be") that the OP employed. If you used the sentence above, you would be saying that the starting date of X must (not should) be prior to the starting date of Y.

share|improve this answer

There's certainly nothing wrong with using words like prior and precede in OP's context, but they're not exactly everyday language for the masses. In common parlance, people are much more likely to say something like...

X should be earlier than Y

...or...

X must come before Y

share|improve this answer

Your example makes perfect sense to me; I can see no need to vary it.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

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.