In a software application, two drop-down lists are presented. The first is labeled "relative period" and is populated with "Prior," "Current," and "Subsequent." The second list is labeled "interval" and is populated with month names, quarter names, and other intervals like "year to date."

I am hoping to find a shorter, less formal-sounding alternative to "subsequent." Does one exist?

  • 5
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because choosing names for program thingies is off-topic according to our Help Center.
    – tchrist
    Mar 2, 2015 at 20:27
  • 3
    @tchrist Choosing names for variables and classes in computer code is definitely off-topic, but I don't see why asking for suggestions for a label in the user interface would be off-topic. Mar 2, 2015 at 20:30
  • 8
    That said, I'm feeling a bit confused by this UI, or at least your description of it. I suggest that you get the concept reviewed on User Experience. Mar 2, 2015 at 20:49
  • ++ and -- are pretty short.
    – geometrian
    Mar 3, 2015 at 4:44

7 Answers 7


Almost every time I've given or seen these sorts of navigation options (e.g. Google Calendar), the options are Previous and Next. It is often unnecessary to even provide Current; just provide a label to indicate what the currently selected period is.

  • 1
    This sounds best to my ear. "Previous" also sounds more proximate to "current" than "prior" to me, which is good.
    – Aidan Ryan
    Mar 3, 2015 at 0:27

How about "following"? http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/prior

Theoretically, "later" or "after" are shorter, but they don't seem to convey the right meaning in that context to me.

  • 3
    'After' isn't an adjective in this sense. 'Later' is as reasonable as 'subsequent': both adjectives require reference. Mar 2, 2015 at 17:08
  • This sounds pretty good too - "Prior Quarter," "Current Quarter," "Following Quarter" feels pretty parallel.
    – Aidan Ryan
    Mar 3, 2015 at 0:28

You can use the shortened post- for the opposite of prior.


"Prior to his education, he made very little money. However, the post-MBA scholar quickly found a steady job."


How about future?

Prior - Current - Future

  • 3
    "Future" implies that the choice is relative to now, and not some other reference point. Mar 2, 2015 at 20:46

Well, posterior is somewhat shorter (although subsequent is not a terribly long word, either). To boot, it is level with prior in style.

Rather rich in meaning, though.


Options for times in the past:

  • past
  • back
  • last

Options for times in the future:

  • coming
  • forward
  • ahead

You can use latter, which goes well with prior as the two sound alike. The definition being:



  1. being the second mentioned of two (distinguished from former): "I prefer the latter offer to the former one."
  2. more advanced in time; later: "in these latter days of human progress."

It can easily refer to an item in the list that comes after another, as well as an event that happens after another.

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