Imagine the following:

A -> B

B is consequent (and subsequent) to A, because A implies B.

How might one describe A relative to B? "Presequent" gets a few search results... but perhaps there's a better-established word?

Another example:

Because it rained, the grass is wet.`

The wet grass is consequent to the rain. How can one make a similar statement about the rain itself?

3 Answers 3


You could say that the rain is antecedent to the grass getting wet. The Oxford English Dictionary writes that:

A thing or circumstance which goes before or precedes in time or order; often also implying causal relation with its consequent.

So, antecedent is often paired with consequent. They write further that in logic:

Hence, in various special applications, of which the logical and grammatical are the earliest uses of the word in English: Logic. (Opposed to consequent.) The statement upon which any consequence logically depends; hence †(a) The premisses of a syllogism (obs.); (b) The part of a conditional proposition on which the other depends. †(c) By some early logicians the subject and predicate were called antecedent and consequent.

For example, a usage in writing is:

1870 F. C. Bowen Logic v. 128 All Hypothetical Judgments obviously consist of two parts, the first of which is called the Condition or Antecedent.


Precedent also works as an adjective.

The rain is precedent to the wet grass.

  • 1
    But I don't think many people would understand this use.
    – Colin Fine
    Sep 30, 2011 at 11:59
  • Precedent has a specific connotation, and I fear that it's too frequently misunderstood.
    – Peter
    Sep 30, 2011 at 13:22
  • "Precedent" is normally used as a noun rather than an adjective, and means "something that happened before and is now the established rule or custom". This has a very formal definition in law, where you say things like, "The judge ruled against Mr Jones in accordance with the precedent established in the Smith case", meaning, because one court ruled a certain way, future courts tend to rule the same way to give the law consistency.
    – Jay
    Sep 30, 2011 at 15:16
  • "Precursive" would be far better than "precedent" in that sentence; e.g., "Rain is precursive to wet grass." Sep 30, 2011 at 15:21

I’m having the same question come up in my work. So, Presequent or sursequent or supersequent all seem like they could work. But, I would like to know if I am reinventing the wheel. I don’t think the original question was answered properly because this isn’t a question about the conditional so much as the order in which it is stated or read.

It becomes clear when dealing with bi-conditionals.

A iff B

A and B each serve as one another’s consequent and antecedent in A if B and A only if B.

In functions, the term surjection is used as in super-jection for half of the Bijection. (injections are the other half).

In family trees, I believe it is ascendents and descendants.

In project or task managment, Parent-tasks and Child-tasks are sometimes parent-tasks and sub-tasks.

Similarly, predecessor and successor for dependencies.

First and second conditional clauses are part of grammar.

main and dependent clauses seem to parallel consequent and antecedent along with their Greek counterparts, protasis, apodosis.

“prosequent” and “antsequent” seems like mixing latin and greek roots unnecessarily.

So, isn’t sur- or super- the right prefix to use with subsequent when tracking the “sequents?”

Thanks for indulging this! This seems particularly important for necessity and sufficiency when considering “because and only because” statements, too.

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    Feb 1, 2021 at 1:38

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