As I understand it, the indefinite article "a" cannot be used before the word "current". "A current ..." doesn't make sense to me. We say "the next" and "the previous", so we should say "the current", that's it.

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But nevertheless it is used in this way sometimes. Is it grammatical? If yes, then how it works?

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  • 2
    Who told you that? Of course, a current document. Why wouldn't it be grammatical? current is an adjective. Adjectives are not what controls an article.
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 1, 2021 at 20:16
  • @Lambie But if you ask me which books are my favorite, and I answer you something like "It's hard to say. The previous book I have read was ..., the next book I'm going to read is ..., and the book which I read now (= these days) is ...", it should be "the" in all the three cases, right?
    – user90726
    Commented Oct 1, 2021 at 20:55
  • 2
    If you only ever read one book at a time, then there will only be one current book. If you're reading more than one book, you can say, "A book that I'm currently reading is War and Peace." We wouldn't call this "a current book" - but not because it's ungrammatical. We just don't use usually use current in this collocation. The following is pretty idiomatic, though: "I love a lot of books. A current favorite of mine is War and Peace."
    – Juhasz
    Commented Oct 1, 2021 at 22:57
  • 1
    Also, "current" has more than one meaning. In computing, a "current document" means one that's open now (currently). There can be more than one document open at a time, so there can be more than one "current document". In terms of demonstrating proof of ID or qualifications, "current" means "in effect", as in, "has taken effect and has not expired". Two of the current documents I have are a driver's licence and a passport.
    – gotube
    Commented Oct 1, 2021 at 23:18

1 Answer 1


If there is more than one document current in a particular context, meaning, for example, that there are documents that have not expired, you can certainly refer to any one of them as "a current document".

You can even use it in a general sense:

A current document will have a date in the upper right hand corner that is not earlier than today's date.

In short, the usual rules for selecting articles apply, and are not affected by the choice of adjective.

  • 1
    If there is more than one document current....
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 1, 2021 at 20:17

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