100% GOOD (5 votes)AnsweredLanguage Question
what is the difference between timetables and schedules?

PS: Take a look at these free English educational resources: Module: Tonga TimelineThe Hyphen and The DashCONJUNCTIONS → ContrastCan't versus can in American English


AussieInBg profile picture AussieInBgApril 2021
Firstly, ”timetable” is generally much more used in British English and ”schedule” in American.

Now, ”schedule” does get used in British English and ”timetable” in American but with a different meaning from the most common usage.

”timetable” is used in British English to describe something that occurs regularly, e.g. hourly, daily or weekly. ”schedule” is used like this in American English.

For example, the times that a train arrives daily in British English generally is referred to as a ”train timetable”. In American English, it’s ”train schedule”.

However, in British English, if a train arrives or departs at the exact time as written on the timetable, it’s not ”the train has arrived/departed on timetable” but ”the train has arrived/departed on schedule”.

For a single arranged meeting/arrangement with a specific time, in British English it can be either ”to timetable” or ”to schedule”. When ”to schedule” is used, it usually emphasises that the meeting/arrangement is only ever going to happen once. In American English, ”to schedule” would be usually used here.

Now, for a project where there are certain things that need to be achieved at specific times, both ”timetable” and ”schedule” get used in British English and American English. ”schedule” is preferentially used in Britsh English to describe a project that happens just once whereas ”timetable” is used more often in American English. However, from what I’ve seen, ”timetable” in American English seems to be more and more replaced with ”timeline” in this usage.

Also a note about pronunciation. In British English, ”sch” in ”schedule” is pronounced as ”sh”, in American English, it is said as ”sk”.

Australians use both pronunciations for the word ”schedule”
  • AlleneBrick profile picture AlleneBrick2 weeks ago
    ”Timetables” and ”schedules” are often used interchangeably, but they can have slightly different meanings depending on context:

    Timetables: A timetable typically refers to a fixed or planned list of events or activities, especially in the context of transportation or education. For example, a bus timetable shows the specific times at which buses will arrive and depart from various stops. In an educational setting, a timetable might detail the schedule of classes throughout the day.

    Schedules: A schedule is a broader term that can encompass timetables but isn’t limited to them. A schedule refers to a plan or list of activities, events, or tasks to be completed over time. This can include appointments, meetings, work shifts, and other planned events. It can be daily, weekly, or even monthly.

    In summary, while a timetable often implies a fixed, time-bound plan for specific activities, a schedule can refer to a more general plan that includes various events and tasks. The usage of these terms can vary by region and context, so they are sometimes used interchangeably.
Bluebird0 profile picture Bluebird0April 2021
They are kind of similar but used at different instances. Timetable is this complete structure of what you have to do at what time. We used have a time table in school to tell us when a particular class will start and end.
Schedule is more broader in sense, I guess. Its like a plan. For example, you have 3 meetings scheduled for you today to attend. And your schedule is not fixed. It can change. You might not have 3 meetings the next day as well.
But, overall, I think, both these words are quite similar.
Virginiadavis profile picture VirginiadavisApril 2023
Timetables and schedules both refer to plans that detail the time of events or activities, but there is a slight difference in their meanings.