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I've been racking my brain for a single word that would apply to the future in the same way that "recent" applies to the past. I looked up antonyms of recent but that was a dead end as it led to words describing further past rather than near future.

There was a recent event at the town hall.

VS

There will be a XXXX event at the town hall.

I've thought about "future" however that is ambiguous on when. It is sometime between a moment from now and the end of time. "Shortly" works if we are ok using an adverb and reordering the sentence.

Is there another option that I'm missing?

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    Also as alternatives to shortly: soon, presently, anon. – Kimball May 14 at 1:36
  • @choster I looked up antonyms of recent but that was a dead end as it led to words describing further past rather than near future. – Myles May 14 at 18:40
  • @choster No problem but I fail to see how that improved the quality of the question in this case. – Myles May 14 at 18:42
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    @Myles By informing people of the methods you used that proved to be fruitless, you are saving answerers and future visitors with the same question from repeating those methods. It is an expectation throughout Stack Exchange that you demonstrate some effort to research on your own; I am surprised that as a very experienced SE user you seem to be unaware of this. It is even in the hover text when voting on a question. – choster May 14 at 18:44
  • @choster I thought that the demonstration of "future" and "shortly" options considered and discarded covered the initial research aspect of things in that effort was spent trying to solve the problem. – Myles May 14 at 18:49

11 Answers 11

72

upcoming

FORTHCOMING, APPROACHING

Upcoming events are posted on our Web site.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upcoming

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    This is the word I would choose as well, but it requires a slight reformulation of the example sentence: "There is an upcoming event at the town hall." – jpmc26 May 15 at 23:59
70

Consider imminent:

ready to take place : happening soon
// … systems engineers have become rather blasé about the imminent liftoff.

(source: Merriam-Webster)

To my surprise, the first ten example sentences listed in the Oxford Dictionaries are about threats; I'm quite sure it can be used in a neutral way as well, as the Merriam-Webster example shows.

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    I feel like imminent has the connotation that you don't know exactly when it's going to occur, just at some point in the near future. Also a somewhat negative connotation. – Kevin May 13 at 20:23
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    Even the M-W example suggests that the lift-off is something the engineers should be concerned about. – Acccumulation May 13 at 21:16
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    I've seen attempts to use imminent as a neutral term but something just feels off with it. – Myles May 13 at 22:03
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    Not a native speaker here but the way I understand imminent is that it implies inevitability or a promise (including that of a threat), which isn't always appropriate. For instance, it may not be appropriate in the OP's specific example. – Andriy M May 13 at 22:27
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    Is it just my feeling or does imminent also feels much nearer than upcoming? As in imminent = coming so soon that preparing action is required now, upcoming = will happen soon, but right now no preparation (at least on my side) is required. – Hagen von Eitzen May 16 at 5:34
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imminent was the first word to come to mind, but impending will also work perfectly:

occurring or likely to occur soon

Source: Merriam-Webster

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    "Impending" sounds a bit threatening to me. Usually seems to proceed things like "doom", "disaster" or "death". Only exception I can think of is "nuptials". – Darrel Hoffman May 14 at 17:52
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    @DarrelHoffman Some might feel a bit threatened by impending nuptials too. – Janus Bahs Jacquet May 14 at 19:36
15

Soon

in or after a short time.

So you could say:

  1. "There will soon be an event at the town hall" or
  2. "There will be an event at the town hall soon"
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    I believe this (among with soonish) is the only answer that 1. really specifies that it is close to the future (upcoming for example does not) and 2. Does not have a sense of emergency (imminent) or even doom (impending). – George Menoutis May 16 at 12:48
7

impending

impend /ɪmˈpɛnd/ verb gerund or present participle: impending.

Be about to happen.

"My impending departure"

Google dictionary: impend

  • This may be perceived as having a negative connotation. If you type impending into google, it auto-fills "impending doom". When I searched whether it has a negative connotations, I got mixed results, but I think there are plenty of people who would view it as negative. – Albert Rothman May 16 at 20:27
5

I claim "near-future" to be one word and not too late. I would also change "will be" to "is" to make it even less unplanned.

There is a near-future event at the town hall.

You can even try "soon-to-be" even though it isn't really used that way. Maybe invent "soon-to-be-recent"?

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/soon-to-be

There is a soonish event at the town hall.

"Soon" is a good word for the near-future, but it would require slight rewrite. "Soonish" is a casual word that should work well as adjective even if it may be seen as as an adverb only.

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/soonish

When you say future is too vague, maybe the actual date can serve your purpose.

There is a Saturday event at the town hall.

I would also recommend "planned" if a date was too specific.

If the event isn't really planned, maybe "pending / impending" is your go.

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pending

Plenty of possibilities, depending of what the actual use and style is. I would second the vote for "upcoming" as rather similar to "recent" . It works as a header for a list of events as well as for heads-up in a news-letter or on a poster.

Remember the upcoming/recent event at the town hall!

  • What about soon-to-take-place? Would that be correct English? – yunzen May 15 at 11:09
5

Upcoming?

We discussed this at the most recent meeting.
We will discuss it again at the upcoming meeting.

(no research, just what came to mind as I tried to rephrase it.)


I remember reading an article about someone who wanted to make clear whether "next weekend" (especially when discussing on a Friday) would be the next 2 days, or the following weekend, and they proposed a term like "noxt" for like "next one over" (so 8 days from now, not 1.) Alas, I don't remember the source.

2

My favourite is probably "imminent",but depending on what the event is, it could "loom" which has negative associations. "Upcoming" is good but can seem a bit distant, I suppose. What about "impending"?

2

You may have to substitute "will be" for "is" with available suggestions, because most if not all of them will cause it to be doubly in the future. The reason for this doubling is that your sentence is written so that the word should be a property of the event at the time of writing, not a property that it will get.

Hence, is.

Is nigh has archaic connotations; it's not a good fit in general speech. Other suggestions here have their respective connotations, most of them bombastic in nature.

Coming and soon are perhaps the most neutral, but requires rewriting the sentence:

There is soon an event at the town hall.

Coming soon also seems what many copywrites have settled for on posters advertising the event.

If you want a pure word replacement, I can think of this example.

If this were for a calendar or ticket website with two lists showing you Recent Events and _____ Events, Upcoming Events would be a good fit for the second header; that they would be coming soon would be implied by the user from the use case.

  • Excellent analysis! – Myles May 16 at 16:35
0

Pending. Your example of “There will be a pending event at the Town Hall” doesn’t work though because the use of “will” makes “pending” redundant so the sentence needs to be rearranged. “There is an event pending at the Town Hall”. “An event is pending at the Town Hall”. Pending implies an event about to take place without also implying threat (as in imminent).

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  • 6
    "Pending" usually implies a degree of uncertainty; it means "awaiting a decision". Saying that there's a "pending event" means that you don't know whether it will actually happen, and it doesn't imply anything about whether it's in the near or distant future. – Michael Seifert May 14 at 15:00
  • An amount of a lapse in time is not what I would have pending dependent on. But if it isn't pending, then it's still being planned. Or if it's already been planned, then just give me the date. My word would be soon. – Mazura May 14 at 18:33
-2

There will be a current event. (Let the diatribes begin. :-) )

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  • 1
    A current event is happening now. If you allow a future event to be termed "current" then the word loses any additional meaning and it's no different to writing "There will be an event". – KillingTime May 15 at 6:03
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    @KillingTime I think "current event" has another related meaning of "news worthy event". My typing this comment is an event that is current, but it wouldn't be considered part of "current events". So saying "this will be a current event" seems to me to imply the event will be of some renown. On the other hand, this answer lacks any kind of clarification, which is necessary to make it a useful answer. – Matt E. Эллен May 15 at 8:09
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    @MattE.Эллен To my mind, saying "this will be a current event" doesn't convey that the event will happen in the near future, which is what the OP is after. – KillingTime May 15 at 8:28
  • @KillingTime yes, that is a fair point. – Matt E. Эллен May 15 at 8:31
  • This does not provide an answer to the question. Once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post; instead, provide answers that don't require clarification from the asker. - From Review – Mark Beadles May 17 at 15:05

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