Classes meet at their regular times, and we're able to attend as many (or as few) as we want. — Source

Does classes in this sentence refer to groups of students or different lessons such as art class, math class etc.?

If classes means different lessons, is the word meet used correctly since usually people instead of things are put before meet?

Is "Meetings met at their regular time" correct?

  • Classically, classes has also meant those comprising what we call 'classes' in the conventional sense. A certain professor wrote on the blackboard "The professor will meet his classes at Four PM." When he arrived at four, he found it read: "The professor will meet his lasses at Four PM." He promptly corrected it to: "The professor will meet his asses at Four PM."
    – Kris
    Sep 11, 2012 at 12:35

3 Answers 3


If "classes" means different lessons, is the word "meet" used correctly, since usually "people" instead of "things" are put before "meet"?

When you put it that way, I can see why this would read oddly.

In my thesaurus, meet is listed as a synonym for convene. In the context of education, class meets is a "shorthand" way of saying students registered for the class meet, and, classes meet at 9 o'clock is another way of saying, classes convene at 9 o'clock. Similarly, class will meet in Room 222 is the same as class will convene in Room 222.

I had never thought of this usage as idiomatic or phrasal until you asked this question, but, after reading the dictionary's definition of meet, I can see why this might sound like a misuse of the word to a non-native speaker. Nice catch. I assure you, though, this usage will strike most native speakers as perfectly normal and natural, at least here in the U.S.

  • 1
    I guess it depends on how you define "class". If you define a "class" as "a group of students and a teacher", then the language is quite straightforward. A class can "meet" just like a committee can "meet" or a team can "meet". If you define a "class" as the material being presented, then yes, the class does not "meet", the students and teacher do.
    – Jay
    Sep 11, 2012 at 15:46

"Classes" refers to the courses offered by the college- in this case Harvard. The article mentions something called "Shopping Week" where the students may drop into different classes during their regularly scheduled times. That is, if a class normally meets Mon, Wed, Fri at 9:00 - 10:00 then that is when they meet during "Shopping Week" as well and students are free to go to any class and see if they like it before signing up for the semester.


This is referring to different 'lessons'.

However, the lessons themselves aren't meeting, so it is understood that class actually means the people that attend a given class.

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