You say on schedule or behind schedule which consist of:

[preposition] + schedule (noun)

However, you say as scheduled and not as schedule. Why? What are the differences between these phrases?

  • 1
    When you are saying 'on schedule' or 'behind schedule', 'schedule' is a noun. You are describing the task relative to the schedule. In the case of 'as scheduled', 'schedule' is a verb, you did the scheduling in the past, so it is 'as scheduled'
    – Darren H
    Dec 26, 2016 at 15:22
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    @tchrist: I disagree. What's your source for that? Here's another opinion. Between is appropriate if there are only two things being checked for differences. But with 3 or more things, among can be appropriate. Here's another example (a text about English grammar, no less) where you'll find both used (appropriately, IMO).
    – Drew
    Dec 26, 2016 at 16:58
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    @tchrist: What makes it "wrong", beyond someone's prescription that it should not be said? What makes it ungrammatical, in your eyes? FWIW, I agree with what is said (succinctly) in these two answers right next to yours (which approaches a rant): 1, 2. (And no, I do not interpret the "rule" expressed by #1 as prescriptive. It just describes actual use.)
    – Drew
    Dec 26, 2016 at 17:53
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    @tchrist: That you cannot say it does not make it ungrammatical, to my mind. I can say it, and so can many others. And not at all because we were told to. That's your error, methinks: You rightfully rebel against someone speaking in an artificial way from following some misguided rule. But you mistake how many people actually speak (naturally) for rule-following. In particular, the nuance that among can suggest sharing (which you acknowledge, BTW: OED says "collectively and vaguely") and between can suggest one-to-one relationships is useful. Again, see #2, cited above.
    – Drew
    Dec 26, 2016 at 18:03
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    @tchrist: You cite Safire's article, where he decries blindly following prescribed rules and supports following your ear. I do too. He is not saying what you seem to be saying (which sounds like prescribing, to me). And note that he says specifically, as I would say too, "I usually use between when separating two, and among when discussing more than two, because I want to, not because I have to." He's following his ear, as am I.
    – Drew
    Dec 26, 2016 at 18:09

1 Answer 1


Phrases such as on schedule and behind schedule are idioms, so the form,

[preposition] + schedule (noun)

is not something that can be applied to every preposition and noun. However, as schedule is not commonly used. The phrase, as scheduled can be used in the following ways,

Everything is going as scheduled.

The food arrived as scheduled.

As scheduled is very similar to on schedule in that they are both used to describe an event that occurred on time or as expected. When one says something is behind schedule, then there is an indication that something failed to be done by a deadline. Some examples with on schedule and behind schedule,

He came right on schedule for the baby shower.

As long as every team member continues to his or her tasks on schedule, the project should be finished by February.

The boarding process for our flight is behind schedule, so we have to wait another half-hour.

The professor was behind schedule on his lectures and may ask the students to learn more material on their own.

  • 2
    It might be worth drawing attention to how as scheduled uses as plus a (passive) past participle, just like as expected, as indicated, as specified, as found, as drawn, as shown, as spoken, as seen, as written, as told.
    – tchrist
    Dec 26, 2016 at 16:29

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