class, course

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USA - English
I'm a beginning German student, and I find that when I'm trying to talk about college classes, I never know what word to use. I've come across the following five words: die Klasse, die Stunde, der Kurs, der Unterricht, and das Seminar. What is the difference between these terms? Does it depend on the size of the class, or whether it is lecture- or discussion-based? Which would you use in the following contexts?

"This semester, I'm taking five courses."
"My first class is at 10 am."
"Class is cancelled on Friday."
"I have to go to my English class."
"I won't be in class tomorrow."
  • trance0

    Senior Member
    Dieses Semester nehme ich fünf Kurse. / Dieses Semester nehme ich an fünf Kursen teil.
    Meine erste Unterrichtsstunde fängt um 10 Uhr an.
    Für Freitag wurde der Unterricht abgesagt.
    Ich muss jetzt in den Englischunterricht (gehen).
    Morgen gehe ich nicht zum Unterricht. / Morgen bin ich nicht im Unterricht.

    But I am not sure if this is really idiomatic, so you better wait and see what natives would actually say.


    Senior Member
    Englisch - U.S.
    And let's not forget "classroom" ("Kollegraum" / "Hörsaal" / "Seminarraum" in universities, depending upon the exact use; "Klassenzimmer" in primary and secondary schools): In my experience, native speakers avoided referring to the room, itself - or, at least, English native speakers refer to it more frequently ("Quiet in the classroom!" = "Ruhe!"). And, to me, the word "Kollegraum" doesn't come very trippingly off the tongue. Does anyone have any better suggestions?
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