I want to write on my timetable that an event will take place at "Building X, but this is provisional as it is subject to change and it may happen somewhere else." Is there any kind of notation or abbreviated phrase in English, Latin or Greek etc. that denotes being provisional? I'm not sure "etc." carries that sense across.

  • 1
    Is your timetable a complete document or discrete figure in a document? If so, can you simple add the word "draft"?
    – GSP
    Feb 16, 2015 at 15:22
  • It's a complete document, but I'm trying to keep it as brief as possible so that it all fits in so many lines.
    – Lou
    Feb 16, 2015 at 16:09

6 Answers 6


As Frank commented on Robusto's answer, the most common abbreviation for this I'd expect would be

TBC (to be confirmed).

You can use TBA in a slightly different context. I'd find it plausible to see, for example:

Lecture A1. Topic: Frogs. Location: Lecture Hall X
Lecture A2. Topic: Fish. Location: Lecture Hall Y (TBC)
Lecture A3. Topic: Flies. Location: TBA

That is, "TBA" implies ''nothing has yet been announced at all''; "TBC" implies ''something has been announced but not yet finalised''.

  • Good answer, though I don't think it suits my particular purposes. It's not that the location is yet to be finalised, but it probably never will be. "Ad interim" or "tentative" is perhaps closer in that sense.
    – Lou
    Feb 16, 2015 at 23:20
  • @Leo How can the location never be finalised? That means that the event will never take place? Is it a fictional event? I don't follow you here… Feb 17, 2015 at 10:30
  • Okay, context: my friend and I are going to meet to study Japanese at a fixed time, but it could well be anywhere; we may decide ad hoc or the week before or even simply wander around and speak in Japanese. So there's a location where it might take place, but that's subject to change and it may never be finalised.
    – Lou
    Feb 17, 2015 at 15:11
  • 1
    @LeoKing: Japanese has a great word for that: すみません (lit., "it is not finished"). And it also begs your pardon.
    – Robusto
    Feb 17, 2015 at 15:30
  • @Robusto I didn't think that すみません could be used in that context - but to be honest it would probably confuse me more. "Why have I written 'Excuse me'/'I'm sorry' on my timetable?"
    – Lou
    Feb 17, 2015 at 15:34

Usually a parenthetical TBD (to be discussed or to be determined) or TBA (to be announced) would suffice.


I'm including @Frank's "TBC" even though I've seldom seen it. This answer should probably encompass all the TB* variations. No doubt there are others as well.

  • 9
    TBC? To be confirmed
    – Frank
    Feb 16, 2015 at 12:46
  • I've not heard of TBC, and TBD to me means "To be determined" so just note that these might not be immediately understood by all.
    – Preston
    Feb 16, 2015 at 16:30
  • 1
    @PrestonFitzgerald: Yes, TBD means that as well. I edited to incorporate it into the post.
    – Robusto
    Feb 16, 2015 at 16:33
  • @PrestonFitzgerald "TBC" seems fairly common to me. It's typically used when announcing the programme of an event: for example, early publicity for a concert might list a couple of the performers as "tbc". Feb 17, 2015 at 10:51
  • @DavidRicherby perhaps it's primarily a UK English thing. I could guess at it and probably not get it right in context. I don't think I've ever seen it.
    – Preston
    Feb 17, 2015 at 15:25

For those who are well versed in Latin, "ad interim" is a good fit.

  • "ad interim" (adverb) for the intervening time, temporarily TFD - "an ad interim government until the new constitution goes into effect"

"provisory" or "provisional" alone also convey the meaning you're looking for.

  • provisory (adj) - another word for provisional
  • provisional (adj) - provided or serving only for the time being. TFD

Edit: credit to Josh61, "ad interim" can be abreviated to "ad int".

  • I like ad int., I might use that just in my own personal documents - I suspect it wouldn't be well known enough to use otherwise.
    – Lou
    Feb 16, 2015 at 16:10
  • Ad interim means something slightly different to me, namely something that serves as a temporary stand-in, functioning as an interim (“a temporary or provisional arrangement; stopgap; makeshift”, [dictionary.com, def. 2]), similar to a provisional government or an ad interim cafeteria (while the proper one is being redone). Unless I'm misunderstanding the question, that's not really what's going on here. Feb 17, 2015 at 10:39
  • As you understand it, Janus, no, that's not the sense I intended
    – Lou
    Feb 17, 2015 at 15:07

I had never heard of the TBC abbreviation until now. Even knowing the definition, it seems to me to imply slightly more certitude than I think the question intends.

I would use the word "tentative" to convey an initial plan that is subject to change.


Pro tem might do the trick, which is short for pro tempore, meaning "for the time being."

I've tentatively scheduled the use of the all-purpose room as a pro tempore solution to our space problem.

The argument could be made, however, that the expression should be reserved for referring to definite location which is already in use for a limited time only--perhaps a few days or weeks.

Our pro tempore headquarters suited us just fine; that is, until the landlord insisted we sign a year-long lease, instead of renting from month to month.


I have often seen STC - Subject to confirmation

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