I received a sentence from a colleague. He has checked all files and binders, and there is no findings. He writes to me a sentence

All files and binders are in sequence order.

I don't know what he means. Is this a correct sentence?

Thanks in advance for your help.


  • 1
    Your dictionary should always be your first source of information. See this link. – P. E. Dant Aug 19 '16 at 1:56
  • Thanks. I checked the dictionary. But I still don't understand the meaning of sequence order. In my opinion, it only means things are put in succession order, and don't include 1. the files are most current, 2. there is no missed. Is my understand right? It just about order. – jin zhang Aug 19 '16 at 2:11
  • Yes. sequence order is redundant. The sentence is correct grammatically, but either word alone would have been enough. – P. E. Dant Aug 19 '16 at 2:20
  • 3
    Sounds like he might have meant "sequential order". – Andy Schweig Aug 19 '16 at 3:01
  • @jinzhang - is All files and binders are in sequence order an exact copy of what your colleague wrote? (+1 AndySchweig) – P. E. Dant Aug 19 '16 at 3:04

That could be just a typo but, there are two realistic possibilities here, "sequential" and "sequence".

Either is correct depending on the exact circumstance.

If the files have on order themselves, just as numbered jackets or dates, then:

The files are in sequential order.

Meaning they are in the order printed on them, 1, 2, 3, 4, etc...

However, if the binders track something else that is called a 'Sequence' on it's own, then "sequence order" is correct. For example:

We track every Production Sequence on paper. The binders are on that shelf in sequence order.

Meaning they are order by Production Sequence, not their own order.

  • Thanks for mentioning both variants. I think "sequential" is probably the more likely intended word, but "sequence" certainly could occur. Another phrasing which supports the idea that "sequence" might be a valid phrasing is "The binders are on that shelf in production order," which would be an acceptable way of saying that they are on the shelf in the order you would need them during production. – Cort Ammon Aug 19 '16 at 18:45

I think sequence in this sense means "in order of file number" - it's assuming each file has a number.

Where I work, the company has projects, and assigns each project a 7-digit number for their accounting system. Projects for the same client will generally but not always have the same first 5 digits. If you arrange the projects by project number order, it's not going to be in alphabetical order by client name or anything else. No one except accounting knows how the numbers are assigned.

So the files are probably ordered by file number or some other control number on some system of theirs.

If you asked for a specific file number he's trying to tell you since the files are ordered by number, he's pretty sure it doesn't exist.

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