chapter and unit

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Swarovski, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. Swarovski Junior Member

    Chinese - Mandarine
    Can the words "chapter" and "unit" be used interchangeably in the following?

    The twelve-chapter textbook was completed. Each unit contained three sections: pre-reading questions, an article, and grammar points.
     
  2. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    I don't think switching words makes much sense here, Swarovski. Your second sentence would make more sense to me if you repeated "chapter" rather than replacing "chapter" with "unit".

    "Chapters" are not always "units" although some textbooks call one lesson a "unit" and devote each separate chapter of the book to one lesson.
     
  3. Swarovski Junior Member

    Chinese - Mandarine
    Is it equally acceptable if I use the word "unit" twice?
    The twelve-unit textbook was completed. Each unit contained three sections: pre-reading questions, an article, and grammar points.
     
  4. Swarovski Junior Member

    Chinese - Mandarine
    I would really appreciate it if you could kindly give me examples when "chapters" are not "units" to help me understand the idea.
     
  5. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    It is equally acceptable, Swarovski.

    To answer your second question, I'll say this: In certain textbooks, a "chapter" can be a "unit". If you are writing something about that textbook, pick "chapter" or "unit" and use it consistently. In other books, "chapters" are not "units".
     
  6. Swarovski Junior Member

    Chinese - Mandarine
    So maybe Chapters 1 and 2 constitue a unit; and Chapters 3, 4, and 5 constitute another unit. Is that right?
     
  7. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    I'm sorry, Swarovski, but that isn't what I was trying to tell you.

    As long as you are talking about textbooks and not other types of books, a "unit" can be whatever the writer/teacher thinks it should be. It is common to treat one topic in the textbook as "a unit", which means something like "a section of a book that is devoted to one topic". In my experience, each separate chapter in such books is usually devoted to "a unit". However, it would be possible to have "a unit" that contained more than one chapter in the book.

    When people are talking about other types of books like novels or collections of short stories, a chapter is called "a chapter". It is senseless to speak of "units" when you are talking about books that are not textbooks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  8. Swarovski Junior Member

    Chinese - Mandarine
    I got it. Thank you very much for your help, owlman5.
     
  9. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    There is no well-defined, universally-used relationship between chapter, unit, and lesson.
    It is also possible that Chapter 1 has three units, Chapter 2 has four units.
    We could have a lesson that covered three chapters of five chapter unit or a lesson that covered two units in the same chapter.
    A textbook might be divided only into units, chapters or lessons (or perhaps some other subdivision).
     
  10. Swarovski Junior Member

    Chinese - Mandarine
    Thanks for the detailed explanation, Myridon.
     

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