If I talk about past events, can I use the word 'current' meaning "the one that was ongoing back then"? For instance

In March 2017, supplies were cut off due to the fact that the company failed to pay off its debts and to make a prepayment for the current month (i.e. March 2017).

  • I think I would change that to "a prepayment for that month."
    – Chaim
    Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 23:28
  • It doesn't work. It's certainly not clear that current here refers to March. I agree with Chaim. Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 23:29

1 Answer 1


No, because it creates ambiguity and makes the sentence difficult to understand. Changing to "a prepayment for that month" as Chaim suggests in the comments is sensible.

Current means now, or contemporary, or present. If I read your example sentence in an online article, I would initially think the company failed to may the prepayment at the time the article was written, which of course doesn't make sense.

  • 4
    You can "force" current to apply to the past by saying "then-current" - e.g. "He was told to pay the then-current invoice," but since you mention a date, you should definitely say that to link it back to the month you said over trying to use current.
    – LawrenceC
    Commented Aug 18, 2020 at 0:03

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