swim / swimming> instructor

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

  1. Ippoliti New Member

    Which one would be coreect for an ad : "Swim instructor at a pool needed "or "Swimming instructor at a pool needed"?
    Thank you
  2. Immlang Senior Member

    North Lincolnshire, UK
    English - England
    "Swimming instructor" sounds right to me.
  3. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    Swimming instructor for me too.
  4. perpend

    perpend Banned

    American English
    I would use "swim instructor".

    It depends upon context, though. Do you have some, Ippoliti?

    EDIT: I guess the "context" is somehow there, in the OP. I'd say "Swim Instructor Needed".
  5. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    Either would be correct. In a Google search -- which often doesn't prove much without really looking at the results closely -- these were the results:

    swim instructor: 329 results
    swimming instructor: 405 results

    It may be worth noting that the Lifesaving Society -- tagline: The Lifeguarding Experts -- prefers swim instructor.
    And swimming.org uses swimming teacher on their Careers in Aquatics page.

    I think any of these would work and would be understandable.
  6. london calling Senior Member

    I can't imagine a Brit saying 'swim instructor'. I was a long-distance swimmer as a young girl: I had a swimming instructor/coach.;)
  7. DonnyB

    DonnyB Senior Member

    Coventry, UK
    English UK Southern Standard English
    No, I can't either. :)
    An ad written using BE would say "swimming instructor"
  8. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    English - US
    I took swimming lessons and had swimming teachers. I vote for swimming. "Swim" is not the name of the activity. English teachers teach English, swimming teachers teach swimming, swim teachers teach swim :confused:.
  9. Sparky Malarky

    Sparky Malarky Moderator

    English - US
    I agree.

    Golf instructor
    Tennis instructor
    Swimming instructor

    Golf lessons
    Tennis lessions
    Swimming lessions

    Golf coach
    Tennis coach
    Swimming coach? Swim coach? (I'm not sure.)
  10. Ippoliti New Member

    Thank you all for your replies.
    Copyright, yes, I , too, have seen both "swim" and "swimming " instructors/teachers on the internet and this has made my confusion even worse.
    Till recently I have used "swimming" but a fluent speaker (of NAmE) the other day corrected me and said it is "swim instructor" just like "dance teacher" not "dancing teacher".According to him "swimming " instructor is someone who swims while teaches !
    Thanks again
  11. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    I would use "swim instructor" only if he is teaching a course called "swim class" and it is in reference to that course. Otherwise I would go with "swimming instructor".

    I'm taking Swim Class, Level I, Mr. Robinson is the swim instructor.

  12. Edinburgher Senior Member

    German/English bilingual
    I wonder how your man would describe someone who teaches you how to ride a horse. A "ride instructor"? Surely not!
  13. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    I agree that if you are teaching swimming, you are a swimming instructor. That is an accurate description of the profession.

    However if the title of the class is "Swim I" or "Swim II", etc. then the title of the instructor might be "swim instructor". My point above was that as a title for the professional "swim instructor" might be appropriate. As a description of the profession only "swimming instructor" works.
  14. Edinburgher Senior Member

    German/English bilingual
    You are being too lenient. The class has no business calling itself "Swim I" in the first place, it should be "Swimming I". After all, do you take swim lessons or go to the swim pool? Of course not.

    Some of the swimming pools hereabouts used be known by their old-fashioned name "baths". The powers that be, in their "wisdom", have re-branded them as "swim centres". It's ghastly enough to put people off going.
  15. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English


    We watch movies and go to movie theaters. When we should be watching moving pictures and should go to moving picture theaters. We still have "still photos", but moving pictures became movies.

    So "Swim I", Ghastly!!

    I'm pretty sure I attended "Swim I, an introductory course for swimming" when I was in college (at 8:00 a.m. in Syracuse, NY where it would get to minus 26 degrees in the winter!:eek:).
  16. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    Welcome to the forum. :)
    They would be equally correct.
  17. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    Swimming World Magazine uses "swim coach".

    An eight-time Olympic swim coach, Schubert will focus on innovation and technical leadership for Dolfin's line of competitive swimwear.

    So does the Olympic Council of Ireland:

    Lars, who holds an ASA Level 4 Swim Coach Qualification, was most recently one of the team coaches for Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

    It seems that professional swimmers use the term. Unless, of course, a swim coach is something different from a swim instructor.
  18. Edinburgher Senior Member

    German/English bilingual
    They may well be both correct, but they are certainly not "equally correct". One is more correct than the other, and we should not encourage use of the less correct one.

    It's always a bit questionable to judge correctness on the basis of popularity, but let's see what happens if we try:
    Google counts may be too close to call, and are in any case often suspect. But Ngram shows "swimming instructor" occurs five times as frequently as "swim instructor".
    Change "instructor" to "teacher" and the ratio becomes a whopping 85; with "lesson" it's 27; oddly enough with "coach" it's only 1.7; with "class" it's 2.4; with "pool" it's 214. I'm a bit disappointed to find that with "team" the tables are turned, with a ratio of only 0.39.

    But better than considering popularity polls is to look at what makes sense, at the logic of it. It makes more sense to have a swimming instructor because the name of the activity is swimming, not swim. We don't have golfing coaches or footballing coaches because the activities are called golf and football. We don't have drive instructors, ride instructors, or shoot instructors because the activities are called driving, riding, and shooting. I rest my case. "Swimming instructor" is clearly the better option, even though "swim instructor" may have a non-negligible following.
  19. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    One might be more logical than the other, but I'm not sure how you can maintain that one is more correct than the other. :) Language is not always logical. "Boatswain" and "bosun" are both used, for example, even in official contexts, even though the "correct" pronunciation of both is "bosun". Correct but not logical.

    Actually, there are shoot instructors. I can't speak for drive instructors or ride instructors.

    [edit] Yes, I've also found drive instructors.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  20. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
  21. mmafan67 Member

    English- American
    Getting back to the original post, I've been hired as a "swim instructor" before. That being said, if you're talking about a help wanted ad, it may be appropriate to say:
    "Swim instructor wanted"
    I think saying "at a pool" is a bit redundant. Where else would they be needed?
  22. Edinburgher Senior Member

    German/English bilingual
    Easily. In this context, "more correct" simply means "better" in the sense that it is the one that should be recommended to novices over the other, based on the idea that more natives will perceive the one as natural and the other as odd (or even the one as correct and the other as incorrect), than the other way round.
    Indeed there are, but they're not the same thing. A shoot instructor would be the instructor with overall responsibility at an event known as a shoot. This person would also be a shooting instructor, but I'd say that someone who uses shoot instructor as exactly synonymous with shooting instructor is making a mistake.
    I've found none on Ngram, but a few on Google. From the examples I've skimmed there, it seems the majority of the collocations involve "drive" as part of a name of a driving school, many have 'drive' as part of an address and are followed by a period and a new sentence "Instructor is <name of person>". Some use 'drive' as a verb (headline: "Rude motorists drive instructors round bend"). The rest, I suggest, are mistakes.
  23. Ippoliti New Member

    However, the English (Americans, natives ,whatever anyway) say "swimsuit" not swimming suit ( I think) ....and "swimming costume " not swim costume ( I think)
    so, one (non native like me!) could wonder why not swim teacher? I know that swimming teacher is more popular ( I have been using it for years) but it seems, judging from your answers, the other type occurs too. The reason I'm writing this is because I work with tourists and I want to be as accurate with my English as I can. So is there a rule when to use swim + noun and when swimming + noun that applies in ALL cases? ( strict language rules help non natives a lot!)
    e.g swimming costume (in all cases) and not swim costume ?
    swimming coach/teacher/instructor and not swim?
  24. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    In the USA we can either skinny dip, or we can wear "swim suits". This is not an absolute I guess because I found on Google a little more than two to one ratio favoring "swim suit" over "swimming suit".

    The Olympic swimming rules and regulations calls it a "swim suit". I did not find reference to coaches however.
  25. Edinburgher Senior Member

    German/English bilingual
    If we may regard "swim suit" as a mis-spelling of "swimsuit" (and we should), then I suggest that "never use swim + noun, always use swimming + noun" is a pretty safe policy, because the latter is always acceptable (I think) even to those with a preference for the former, whereas the converse is not always true.
  26. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    Yes, it was a mispelling. When I Google "swimsuit" I get 23,500,000 hits; when I Google "swimming suit" I get 1,370,000 hits.
  27. Ippoliti New Member

  28. Edinburgher Senior Member

    German/English bilingual
    According to Ngram, even in AmE swimming trunks is more frequent than swim trunks, if only by a small margin. The point is that swimming trunks is widely enough used that it should not cause raised eyebrows. That's why I said "a pretty safe policy". I did not mean that swim+noun should not be used, just that choosing to use swimming+noun won't land you in hot water (sulphur springs excepted).
  29. Ippoliti New Member

    ok, got it.thank you for your help!

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