In a software program, I assign contracts a temporal classification as a past, current, or future agreement. I need a descriptive term for this classification and "temporal classification" seems awkward. I considered "age," but that word has too many duration-related connotations. I have thought about calling this classification the agreement's "era."

In grammar, "tense" is a verb's temporal classification. Is there an appropriate word to use in describing a noun's temporal status or classification as past, present, or future?

  • Your "contract" was, is, or will still be a contract, regardless of the temporal frame, so I don't think it makes sense to ask for an appropriate word to use in describing a noun's temporal status. Nouns simply don't have temporal aspects. I think you should just label your column Status (to contain values such as expired, active, prospective or similar). Apr 12, 2016 at 15:07
  • Well, we do describe nouns temporally using adjectives such as "old" and "new." I am just asking of there is a term for that type of description. I agree that "status" might apply, but that is a very overloaded term which is used elsewhere.
    – BJ Safdie
    Apr 12, 2016 at 15:17

2 Answers 2



expressing a state or condition, usually used in simple tenses.

I imagine you can describe the temporal designation as the contract's stative. You could have a column marked stative with 3 boxes (past, present, future).


Though it may not be the best option generally, for a software program that I am working on now, I ended up using "period" for a type which could represent past, present or future at any given instance. Just in case someone else ends up here looking for the same...

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