I have two sentences, using "schedule" and "reschedule" but I don't know which tense to use in each case.

The festival is scheduled to take place next Sunday.

Is is scheduled correct, or should it be the festival has been scheduled to / the festival was scheduled to / the festival will be scheduled to...

Today's lesson is rescheduled to next Monday.

Today's lesson has been rescheduled to / Today's lesson was rescheduled to / Today's lesson will be rescheduled to

In both cases, all the tenses seem to work for me, but maybe it shouldn't be. Could you tell me which to use?


"The activity is scheduled to take place" is correct. Breaking the sentence down, we get:

The activity is scheduled. . .

The activity is given a slot in the order of events. When looking at the agenda for the day, the activity will appear there.

Note that this part of the sentence can stand on its own. Not knowing when the activity will happen does not mean it can't happen.

. . .to take place next Sunday.

Things or people are added to the schedule, and the things or people do things.

However, one does not schedule to a location or time. Otherwise the sentence could be ambiguous:

The dance troupe was scheduled to Thursday, but for various reasons it didn't work out.

Wait. . . does that mean they were performing on a particular day of the week, or that they were performing a particular show or routine called Thursday?

The schedule itself isn't moving in space or time. (Except possibly in Harry Potter fanfiction, but that's a different matter.) Instead:

The lesson was rescheduled for Monday.

The lesson was rescheduled to occur on Monday.

Note that in both these sentences, the rescheduling is not implied to be taking an action itself.

That all being said, in colloquial English you can probably get away with "activity was scheduled to. . ." I dislike the formulation, but given enough context people will understand you. But a 100% (well, 95% +/-) way to avoid any ambiguity is to form a sentence like this:

The meeting was rescheduled. It will now occur on date XYZ.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you for the detailed explanation. Everything is clear now. – tennis girl Oct 18 '13 at 8:09

In this case has been and is does not matter meaning wise, will be scheduled or rescheduled however implies that they have not been scheduled yet, but they will be in the future, and when they are scheduled, it'll be on next monday. Like, you know what they'll decide to schedule it to.

| improve this answer | |

Well, choosing which tense to use depends on what you want to say!

There are no right or wrong tenses - the tenses let you express when something is happening and how long it went on for - or will go on for, like this:

  • Present tense: it is happening now (eg 'is')

  • Past tense (went on a while): it is already completed (eg 'has been')

  • Past tense (was over quickly): it is finished (eg 'was')

  • Future tense - hasn't happened yet: (eg: 'will be')

Here is an example of when you would use each one of your choices, which will hopefully let you choose which tense to use, according to what you want to express:

In response to the question, right now: 'hey! when's the festival?'

  • The festival is scheduled to take place next Sunday

If you are writing a newspaper article, reporting what the festival organisers are up to, then use:

  • The festival has been scheduled to take place next Sunday (note - it's a bit dry, reporting style)

If the festival has been called off, due to rain:

  • The festival was scheduled to take place next Sunday (implies it's not happening any more, because of the 'was' - past tense. And the scheduling activity is also now 'over'.)

If you are not sure yet of the schedule, or the schedule has not been announced yet but you know it is going to be, then use:

  • the festival will be scheduled to take place next Sunday

And with your second example:

In response to the question, right now: 'Oh, what's happening with today's lesson?'

  • Today's lesson is rescheduled to next Monday

Announcing, over the school broadcasting system, to 'report' on what has been going on with the scheduling, (the scheduling itself, is already finished and is completed (in a rather dry way):

  • Today's lesson has been rescheduled to next Monday (past tense)

In response to the question 'what happened to today's lesson?) (past tense)

  • Today's lesson was rescheduled to next Monday

Where you are not sure of the schedule or think it will be rescheduled but it has not been announced yet, use (future tense, conditional):

  • Today's lesson will be rescheduled to next Monday

Tenses: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/grammar/verb-tenses

I am not surprised that you are confused by the way - the descriptions of tenses that I have so far found seem .., awfully muddled and complicated. Maybe someone has a great definition of the various tenses that they can post as a comment.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.