Please tell me the usage of "coordinate"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by springlovesword, May 23, 2007.

  1. springlovesword Junior Member

    China, Chinese
    Does this sentence below correct?
    It is highly efficient to coordinate group scheduling.

    Can I say coordinate somebody doing something? Usually, I found in dictionaries that coordinate is often followed by noun. for example, "coordinate meetings". Could I have your valued advice on this?:idea:
  2. roxcyn

    roxcyn Senior Member

    American English [AmE]
    Yes, the example you wrote is good: coordinate group scheduling and coordingate meetings is also good. Very good work you did :D
  3. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    I'm not really certain what your sentence means simply because I'm not sure what "group scheduling" is. To "coordinate" meetings could mean to schedule meetings in a certain organized fashion so the use of "coordinate" here might be superfluous. Can you give us some more background to the intent of the sentence?

    One of the meanings of "coordinate" from is:

    "to place or arrange in proper order or position"

    Accordingly, yes, you can coordinate many things ie:

    "I want to coordinate my clothing with my shoes"
    "I want my furniture colours to coordinate with the colours on my walls"
    "I want to coordinate the convention meetings so that all the subjects relate to each other"
  4. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    But when scheduling something like meetings, aren't you "coordinating" those meetings? That's why I don't understand what "coordinate group scheduling" means.
  5. springlovesword Junior Member

    China, Chinese
    What I meant to express through "coordinate group scheduling" is to coordinate the schedules of group memebers. But I am not sure whether this expression is gramatically acceptable. Thanks for your examples, they had enriched me with usage of coordinate. But I am still wondering whether coordinate could be followed directly with a verb? We can say"coordinate the movement of all part" but will "Coordinate all parts moving" also be acceptable?
  6. EnchiladaJack Senior Member

    USA, English
    The construction of "all parts moving" would be the same as "group scheduling" (although many English speakers would read "group" as an adjective in that phrase, rather than the object of "scheduling"), but it sounds awkward. The safer move is to always put the gerund (the "-ing" word) in front of its object, as in "coordinate moving all parts" (which could be paraphrased as "coordinate the moving of all parts", or "coordinate the movement of all parts"). You can get away with the inverted construction sometimes, especially when the object of the gerund is one word--for example, "coordinate cereal eating"--but it often sounds strange.
  7. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    I think you've answered Springlovesword's question - to use coordinate with a verb just doesn't seem to work. You went from "coordinate moving..." to "coordinate the moving..." to "coordinate the movement...". The latter phrase would be the one to go with and thus, we're back to using "coordinate" with a noun. I can't think, offhand, of an instance where I would use "coordinate" with a verb.

    I may be being obtuse but I still don't understand "coordinating group schedules" - it just doesn't work for me, logically. My schedule is to eat breakfast at 7:00 A.M., lunch at 12:00 P.M. and dinner at 6:00 P.M. Your schedule is 8:00 A.M., 1:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M. These are our schedules... how do we "coordinate" them other than to make them the same? I'm lost on this issue.
  8. AWordLover

    AWordLover Senior Member

    Atlanta, Georgia USA
    USA English
    I'm not claiming coordinate group schedule is a great phrase, but it doesn't strike me as being inherently meaningless.

    Employee 1:
    9-11 busy
    11-12 free
    12-3 busy
    3-5 free

    Employee 2:
    8-10 free
    10-1 busy
    1-5 free

    For what time should I arrange for us to have a meeting that must last 1.5 hours?

    It looks like we are simultaneously available from 3-5, we should hold our meeting then. The timing of the meeting requires coordination between the to of us.

    Now imagine that I'm trying to schedule meetings for a larger workgroup and must arrange meetings with varying numbers of people and I do my planning up to several months/years in advance.

    Maybe this is the idea coordinate group schedule captures.
  9. EnchiladaJack Senior Member

    USA, English
    The thing is, "moving" in this context is a gerund, which makes it a noun, so all three of the constructions--"coordinate moving," "coordinate the moving of," and "coordinate the movement of"--are equivalent, although one may sounds better to you than the others. Note that you can give any gerund phrase the "the -ing of" treatment (example: I like eating cereal = I like the eating of cereal), although this often sounds awkward, too.

    As far as "coordinating group scheduling" is concerned, it's about making the schedules of group members work together. If I need to schedule status meetings to discuss Projects 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 in two available conference rooms with available meeting times at 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, and 3:00 PM, and certain members of my group work on multiple projects, at what time would I schedule each meeting to ensure the maximum number of project participants can attend? There are actually mathematical methodologies that are be employed for this sort of scheduling :)
  10. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    Whew, you lost me with all that math stuff!:D Okay, I can see that you and AWordLover are stretching to explain "coordinating schedules" so I'll make the stretch. I still think that the phrase is problematic but in this day and age of "business-speak", perhaps nobody else will notice.:)
  11. springlovesword Junior Member

    China, Chinese
    Amazing explanations to coordinate, thanks to you all. In the future, I will choose to say "coordinate my team's schedules" instead.

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