For example, I need to enroll in two different courses at university, but there is a schedule in which both are held. Is it an 'overlapped schedule' or something similar? Is there a proper expression for this purpose?


7 Answers 7


In my experience the most common idiom is

a scheduling conflict

This can apply anywhere, not just to academics. For example, in a work email:

Hi Jim, can we move our meeting to 3pm? I have a scheduling conflict with another meeting at our original time. Thanks.

Note this assumes you want to participate in both events. If these classes just happen to be at the same time, then Laurel's answer of "simultaneous" is more accurate.

  • 2
    The great thing about conflict is it can work as multiple parts of speech. Noun: as above. Verb: "These classes conflict with each other." Gerund/Adj: "Conflicting classes make it harder to design my schedule." Commented Oct 24, 2019 at 14:17
  • 5
    @April It's probably worth pointing out that the noun (CON-flict) and the verb/participle (con-FLICT/con-FLIC-ting) are pronounced differently. Here's a source appropriate for ELL: learnersdictionary.com/definition/conflict
    – shoover
    Commented Oct 24, 2019 at 16:00

I had this happen to me a lot at University, and the word in use then was 'clash'.

Oh no, I have another timetable clash this semester.


I have to see my tutor; plant biology clashes with statistics on Thursdays

  • 2
    'scheduling conflict' and 'simultaneous' etc are rather dry and don't convey the emotion of not being able to get to a class you paid for. 'Clash' does a much better job. Commented Oct 25, 2019 at 0:46
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    A comma seems insufficient in the second example.
    – Strawberry
    Commented Oct 25, 2019 at 9:35
  • 4
    @Strawberry: Indeed. It's a comma splice. It should be either a semicolon or a period.
    – V2Blast
    Commented Oct 25, 2019 at 20:35

The classes are simultaneous:

occurring, operating, or done at the same time. — Lexico/Oxford Dictionaries

Here's an example in use (from a tango site):

Saturday July 25th

1-2:15pm w/Anais - Beginner Level - Embellishments for the leader and follower
1-2:15pm w/Carlos - Intermediate Level - Paradas/Barridas
(above classes are simultaneous)

  • Great. Now I want to go take those tango classes. Shame I live on the other side of the continent :)
    – Andrew
    Commented Oct 24, 2019 at 0:39

From what I understand, you are saying

The "Microeconomics - ECON101" class is scheduled at 11 am, and so is "Introduction to Psychology - PSYC101".

Is that correct?

Well, may be the easiest way to say this would be

Both Econ101 and Psyc101 classes are scheduled at the same time.

You could also say

... my Econ101 class coincides with my Psyc101 class ...

From Cambridge (1) and Collins (2) "coincide" means

(1) to come together in position or happen at or near the same time
(2) If one event coincides with another, they happen at the same time.

There are many ways to say this (you have not provided an example sentence)

You could use the word "concurrent" meaning "happening at the same time" (Cambridge)

... Econ101 and Psyc101 classes run concurrently ...

As Andrew mentioned, you can also say

There is a scheduling conflict [or schedule conflict] ...

A scheduling conflict occurs when two (or more) subjects are offered at the same time, and the student must make a choice between the two. - How to Build the Master Schedule in 10 Easy Steps (2008).

  • I think "scheduled at the same time" is the best choice even though it is a bit wordy. Scheduling conflict is OK, but I would say that you have a scheduling conflict rather than the classes have a scheduling conflict. Simultaneous can be tricky as well. I could see that used to mean two classes that are offered during the same semester, but not necessarily at the same time/date. Commented Oct 24, 2019 at 14:19

I would express it by saying that the classes are "in conflict."

Oh no! My math class is in conflict with the English class I wanted to take.


That job would be a conflict with another commitment I have.


If you are scheduled to be in two classes (or appointments in general) at the same time, you'd describe yourself as double-booked.


Overlapping schedule is not a bad phrase. (Furthermore, neither are some of the other good answers.) That is certainly a phrase that is used. Although, if you know exactly how many items are having overlapping schedules, it may be a bit more common to say a more specific term, "double-booked" or "triple-booked".

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    I've never heard "double-scheduled", although it is similar to the common term "double-booked". (BrE speaker from southern England, for context.)
    – IMSoP
    Commented Oct 25, 2019 at 13:45
  • I agree with IMSoP that "double-booked" would be the more common version of this term for me. (Midwest US)
    – kuhl
    Commented Oct 25, 2019 at 14:00
  • Yeah, sorry, "double-scheduled" and "triple-scheduled" was not what I meant. I did mean "double-booked". I definitely wrote down the phrases very wrong, not matching the common term I had in mind. I thought of just leaving things since Brain Minton has now stated the correct term, but the old version of my answer felt very inaccurate before I corrected my error, and I didn't want to leave that looking so inaccurate. Thanks for the feedback.
    – TOOGAM
    Commented Oct 26, 2019 at 14:49

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