difference between forthcoming and upcoming

Forthcoming Vs. Upcoming: 3 Key Differences

Until recently, even I didn’t know that the words forthcoming and upcoming were different. Sure, they share certain similarities. However, using them interchangeably can be wrong in certain cases.

In this forthcoming vs upcoming article, we’ll discuss all the differences between them.


Forthcoming vs Upcoming: An Overview

Forthcoming and upcoming are mostly synonymous, but even then, you can’t use them interchangeably. This is because forthcoming has a wider meaning than upcoming. While upcoming is a word that’s used to denote something that’s yet to come, forthcoming can be used to mean various things.


What Is Forthcoming?


Forthcoming can be used to mean something that’s coming up, and in this case, it can be used interchangeably with the word upcoming.

However, there are more definitions to this word. Another meaning of forthcoming is responsiveness. For example, She was very forthcoming when I asked her about the details. It can also be used in a negative meaning. For example, he was very forthcoming when I asked how his exam went.

It can also be used to mean candidness or to denote the state of being truthful. For example, John was very forthcoming when the principal questioned his actions.


What Is Upcoming? 


Although forthcoming can be used to mean many things, upcoming is used to denote something that’s going to happen only. So, upcoming is rather narrower when compared to the word forthcoming.

A common usage of upcoming is, “He is preparing for his upcoming exam.”


Main Differences Between Forthcoming and Upcoming

forthcoming vs upcoming

Despite being similar, the words forthcoming and upcoming have a lot of major differences. Let’s take a look at those.


Upcoming has only one meaning, which denotes something that’s coming up. On the other hand, forthcoming can be used to mean the same thing, but it has other definitions as well.

Forthcoming can be used to mean other stuff such as candidness or truthfulness and responsiveness.



“I am preparing for the upcoming party”. In this case, you can use forthcoming instead of upcoming too, because here, the words are implying that the party is going to happen sometime in the future.

However, you can’t use upcoming instead of forthcoming in every case. For example, in certain sentences like “He was forthcoming when asked how things went down” and “She was very forthcoming about herself,” you can’t use upcoming instead of forthcoming.

This is because the word upcoming has a narrower meaning and scope than the word forthcoming.


Parts of Speech

Both upcoming and forthcoming are adjectives, meaning that they will stand in front of a noun to modify it and give the sentence a different meaning.


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A Comparison Table to Summarize

Parameter of Comparison

Forthcoming Upcoming
Definition Forthcoming means

1. An event that’s yet to happen

2. Responsiveness

3. Truthfulness

Upcoming only refers to an event that’s yet to happen
Usage 1.     He is practicing for the upcoming match.

2.     She was forthcoming when asked about the results.

3.     The kids or children are usually  very forthcoming about their choices.

I am getting ready for the upcoming trip.


Key Takeaways

  • Forthcoming can be used instead of upcoming in every case, but the same can’t be said for the word upcoming.
  • Forthcoming has three meanings, an event that’s yet to happen, responsiveness, and truthfulness, while upcoming only denotes something that’s going to happen
  • Both are adjectives, so they can be used interchangeably when the situation allows.



Now that we know the differences between forthcoming vs upcoming, it’s evident that both of them can be used interchangeably only when the situation allows.

Simply, you can use these interchangeably when the word is denoting something that’s yet to happen or going to happen. However, you can use only forthcoming when you mean responsiveness or truthfulness.

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