Usage of verb sync and implied meaning for direct and indirect objects


I am new to an IT department, and the seasoned veterans are confusing me with their usage of the verb sync and the indirect/direct objects.


Construction:  We need to sync A with B.


My understood meaning is that A is the object receiving the action, in this case the syncing. Thus, after syncing, the state of A becomes the same as B's.


However, when using this construction, the department veterans intend to mean that the state of B becomes the same as A's after syncing. Can somebody please explain what is the correct understanding of this construction?

Note, I am an American-born native English speaker, and the seasoned guys are mostly foreign-born, non-native English speakers. Their version seems to be prevalently understood in the department, while my version causes obvious confusion.

1 answer


I agree with you that this sounds as if A changes while B remains the same.  'To sync' isn't a verb, however, but an infinitive used as a noun.  The object of the verb is the infinitive phrase, 'to sync A with B.'

This doesn't help your confusion, though. There are many ways to demonstrate what the phrase actually means, but I doubt it will do any good. You could say, "I'm going to sync my watch with yours. Now, change your watch."

Since you are in the minority, you'll probably have to go with the flow.

link answered Nov 19 '13 at 14:40 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

Thanks for the comment, and while insightful I can't agree that 'to sync' is not a verb... The dictionaries show sync as having 2 parts of speech: (1) a noun as in "out of sync" or "in sync", (2) as a transitive or intransitive verb used in place of "to synchronize."

jsNov 20 '13 at 20:28

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