"Coarse" Or "Course"?

The words coarse and course sound the same but have different meanings.

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.


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