One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
'Coarse' or 'course'?
Coarse is usually used to describe a material that is 'rough in texture', as in:
The wool sweater felt coarse against her skin.
Sometimes coarse is used to describe a person or their speech as rude or vulgar. For example:
His language was coarse and caused quite a stir.
Course, on the other hand, is used in several contexts, but most senses fit the definition of 'a route, direction, or path that something or someone follows'. For example:
- The route a river takes from its source to the ocean:
The river's course was steep and winding.
- A series of lessons you follow in a certain order to learn a subject:
I'm taking a Spanish course so I can communicate with the locals when I go to Spain.
- A series of treatments or medications you follow to get well:
He needs to take a course of antibiotics to get over the infection.
Back to Usage.
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