I don't remember, but someone here on this site commented that you don't require to use 'prior' (or for that sake 'pre') for booking, appointment, approval, permission etc.

I thought it for a while and admit that that is true!

"You need to have a prior appointment to meet the chief minister" ~ why prior? appointment is appointment, it's always made in advance!


prior booking = booking
prior appointment = appointment
prior approval = approval
prior permission = permission, and so on...

I want to discuss this with the natives here. Is it redundant to use 'prior' in all such cases. Also, can you come up with an example where using 'prior' does make the difference or it's mandatory?

  • 1
    In AmE, anyway, I don't use it often... I think it's generally used to show emphasis and it's often said when someone's knocking on the door asking to be let in, or calling asking to see them immediately. Particularly with important people, they will often require background checks to make sure you're "safe" to let in.
    – Catija
    Mar 23, 2015 at 7:13
  • It is used all the time in AmE. lmgtfy.com/?q=prior+approval
    – TimR
    Mar 23, 2015 at 12:25
  • Maybe you were thinking of this question: Preapproved, pre-approved or pre approved?. Mar 23, 2015 at 12:37

1 Answer 1


I don't find the use of prior redundant at all in such circumstances. And appointments aren't "always" made in advance. Consider this dialog:

I would like to see the chief minister, please.
I'm sorry, but you need to have an appointment to meet the chief minister.
Oh, okay. Can I make an appointment right now?
No, I'm not the person who schedules the appointments.

If the person had answered by saying prior appointment, that would have clued me in that the appointment should have been made in advance, and that walk-in appointments weren't granted.

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