“Consecutive Months”

[Updated October 1, 2008]

Consider the following provision:

During the term of this agreement and the following 24 consecutive months, the Consultant shall not …

In this context, the word consecutive is redundant. The same applies to use of consecutive with other units of time.

But consider this provision:

The Employee shall spend two months every year in Acme’s Budapest office.

The employee could elect to spend one week a month in the Budapest office each of the first eight months of 2008 and presumably be in compliance with that obligation.

So if you’re referring to a period of time before or after a point in time, consecutive is redundant. But if you’re referring to a period of time within a larger period of time and you want the shorter period of time to be treated as one block, you should use consecutive.

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.