Future vs. Upcoming: What's the Difference?
By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on October 12, 2023
"Future" refers to all time periods that will occur after the present, while "Upcoming" denotes events or instances happening soon.
Both "Future" and "Upcoming" pertain to time, but their scopes differ. "Future" is a general term that can describe any span of time after the present, whether that's minutes, decades, or centuries away. For instance, one could talk about technologies or cultures of the distant future. On the other hand, "Upcoming" is specific to events or instances that are expected to happen soon, usually in the near future. When a person refers to an upcoming event, they are often talking about something scheduled or anticipated in the next few days, weeks, or months.
"Future" is versatile, serving as both a noun and an adjective. When saying, "The future is bright," "future" operates as a noun. Yet in "Future trends indicate growth," it's an adjective. Conversely, "Upcoming" is primarily an adjective. It qualifies nouns to indicate their impending occurrence or appearance, such as in "upcoming elections" or "upcoming holidays."
When considering usage, "Future" often carries broader or even speculative connotations. Philosophers might muse about the future of humanity, or scientists might hypothesize about life on future planets. "Upcoming" is more immediate, associated with things already planned or foreseen. For instance, businesses discuss upcoming sales or musicians talk about upcoming concerts.
Lastly, while "Future" can cover abstract or theoretical concepts, like future possibilities that may or may not happen, "Upcoming" typically concerns definite, tangible events. The future can be uncertain, full of countless potentialities, while the upcoming is usually certain and specific.
Any time after the present (can be distant or near).
Imminent events, usually in the near future.
Part of Speech
Noun and adjective.
Primarily an adjective.
Broader, can be speculative.
More immediate, relates to planned or foreseen events.
Abstract or Tangible
Can be abstract or tangible.
Typically pertains to definite, tangible events.
Future events, future technologies.
Upcoming meetings, upcoming birthdays.
Future and Upcoming Definitions
A financial term for a contract to buy/sell at a set price on a specific date.
He traded futures in the stock market.
Approaching in time.
The company is preparing for the upcoming audit.
A prospective or expected condition.
The future of renewable energy looks promising.
Soon to be.
The upcoming artist has gained a lot of attention.
Grammatical tense expressing an action yet to happen.
In the sentence She will go, will go is in the future tense.
She's stressed about the upcoming exams.
The indefinite time yet to come
Will try to do better in the future.
Of the near future.
I'm excited for the upcoming weekend.
Something that will happen in time to come
"The future comes apace" (Shakespeare).
Going to happen or appear soon.
There's an upcoming storm forecasted.
A prospective or expected condition, especially one considered with regard to growth, advancement, or development
A business with no future.
Occurring soon; forthcoming.
Often futures A financial instrument that obligates the holder to buy or sell an asset at a set price on a specified date in the future
A market for copper futures.
Happening or appearing in the relatively near future.
We are ready for whatever is upcoming.
The Federal budget lays out government spending for the upcoming budget year.
The form of a verb used in speaking of action that has not yet occurred or of states not yet in existence.
Eggcorn of up-and-coming
A verb form in the future tense.
Pertaining to to upcome
That is to be or to come; of or existing in later time.
The act of coming up.
The time ahead; those moments yet to be experienced.
Something that will happen in moments yet to come.
The activity of to upcome
Goodness in what is yet to come. Something to look forward to.
There is no future in dwelling on the past.
Present participle of upcome
The likely prospects for or fate of someone or something in time to come.
Of the relatively near future;
The approaching election
This coming Thursday
The forthcoming holidays
The upcoming spring fashions
(grammar) Verb tense used to talk about events that will happen in the future; future tense.
An object that retrieves the value of a promise.
(sports) A minor-league prospect.
Having to do with or occurring in the future.
Future generations will either laugh or cry at our stupidity.
That is to be or come hereafter; that will exist at any time after the present; as, the next moment is future, to the present.
Time to come; time subsequent to the present (as, the future shall be as the present); collectively, events that are to happen in time to come.
The possibilities of the future; - used especially of prospective success or advancement; as, he had great future before him.
A future tense.
The time yet to come
A verb tense that expresses actions or states in the future
Bulk commodities bought or sold at an agreed price for delivery at a specified future date
Yet to be or coming;
Some future historian will evaluate him
The present leader
Articles for present use
The present topic
The present system
Effective in or looking toward the future;
He was preparing for future employment opportunities
Coming at a subsequent time or stage;
The future president entered college at the age of 16
Awaiting future actions on the bill
Without ulterior argument
(of elected officers) elected but not yet serving;
Our next president
A verb tense or other formation referring to events or states that have not yet happened;
The time yet to come.
We're hopeful for a brighter future.
Pertaining to a later time.
Future generations will benefit from this research.
Can "Future" be used to describe something happening tomorrow?
Yes, "Future" can describe any time after the present, including tomorrow.
Is "Future" always certain?
No, the future can be speculative or uncertain, encompassing potentialities.
Does "Future" always mean a distant time?
No, "Future" can refer to any time after the present, be it near or far.
Can "Upcoming" describe something a year away?
Typically, "Upcoming" denotes nearer occurrences, but context matters. A year might be "upcoming" in contexts like space missions.
Is "Upcoming" used only for events?
No, "Upcoming" can describe any imminent occurrence or appearance, not just events.
Is "Upcoming" always used before a noun?
Most commonly, as it's an adjective. E.g., "Upcoming event."
What’s another word for "Upcoming"?
"Forthcoming" can be synonymous with "Upcoming."
Can "Future" be used in financial contexts?
Yes, "Future" can refer to a type of financial contract.
Can "Future" be an adjective?
Yes, e.g., "Future plans."
Are all upcoming events in the future?
Yes, since "Upcoming" describes near-future occurrences.
Can "Upcoming" refer to the distant future?
Rarely. It usually denotes the near future.
Is "Future" used in grammar?
Yes, as a tense to describe actions yet to happen.
Can "Future" describe possibilities?
Yes, it can be used to discuss potential future scenarios.
Do "Future" and "Upcoming" have the same connotation?
No, "Future" is broader and can be speculative, while "Upcoming" is immediate and definite.
How do I know when to use "Future" vs. "Upcoming"?
Use "Future" for general or distant timeframes and "Upcoming" for imminent or scheduled ones.
Does "Upcoming" have a tense associated with it?
No, it's an adjective and doesn't pertain to tenses.
Is "Upcoming" definite or indefinite?
It usually indicates definite, planned, or foreseen occurrences.
Can I say "Upcoming future"?
It's redundant. Instead, use one based on context; "Upcoming" for near events and "Future" for a broader timeframe.
What's the opposite of "Future"?
Are all future events upcoming?
No, as "Future" can describe distant events not considered "upcoming."
Written bySawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.