He is doing a computer course" or "He is doing a language course"

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tufguy

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Do we do a course? Like a six month computer course. Do we say "He is doing a computer course" or "He is doing a language course"?
 

emsr2d2

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Do we "do" a course, like a six-month computer course? Do we say "He is doing a computer course" or "He is doing a language course"?

See above.
 

emsr2d2

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Well, you won't get far doing a course if you don't study! A course is usually a period of instruction so there is a teacher and some students. By definition, the students study.
 

Lynxear

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In Canadian English we would not normally use "doing" in this manner. We would use "take".

"He is taking a computer course."
"He is taking a language course."
 

Skrej

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Just a note which may or may not be of interest. If you are speaking/writing to an American, you don't DO a course, you TAKE a course. In the same vein, you don't WRITE an exam, you TAKE an exam.

I disagree with the use of 'do'. You will hear 'do a course' used by some Americans. I myself alternate between using 'take' and 'do' in this context. Perhaps it's a regional usage, but it does exist.
 

emsr2d2

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It appears that BrE is the only variant in which it's absolutely fine. You'll also hear "take a course" from some people here. However, a likely dialogue here would be:

Jane: I'm doing an Italian course this summer!
Fred: Great. Where are you doing it?
Jane: At the local college, every Tuesday evening.
Fred: I'd love to do a language course but I can't find any at a convenient time.
Jane: That's a shame.
Fred: It is. My work hours are changing next month so maybe I'll be able to find a course I can do after that.
 

Lynxear

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It appears that BrE is the only variant in which it's absolutely fine. You'll also hear "take a course" from some people here. However, a likely dialogue here would be:

Jane: I'm doing an Italian course this summer!
Fred: Great. Where are you doing it?
Jane: At the local college, every Tuesday evening.
Fred: I'd love to do a language course but I can't find any at a convenient time.
Jane: That's a shame.
Fred: It is. My work hours are changing next month so maybe I'll be able to find a course I can do after that.

I hope you are not saying BE is better than AE. I can replace every form of "do" with the equivalent form of "take", and it makes total sense to my Canadian ears.

Jane: I'm taking an Italian course this summer!
Fred: Great. Where are you taking it?
Jane: At the local college, every Tuesday evening.
Fred: I'd love to do a language course, but I can't find any at a convenient time.
Jane: That's a shame.
Fred: It is. My work hours are changing next month so maybe I'll be able to find a course I can take after that.


I find that last sentence every awkward with either word unless I put in a comma in the proper place.

Fred: It is. My work hours are changing next month, so maybe I'll be able to find a course I can take after that.

I have also added a comma in Fred's second comment to separate the two independent clauses.
 

emsr2d2

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I hope you are not saying BE is better than AE.

:shock: Please show me where I suggested that was the case! Previous responders, who are speakers of other variants of English, said "do" isn't natural in their variant. I wanted the OP to know that it's natural in BrE. In my eight years on this forum, I have never seen anyone suggest that one variant of English is better than any other.

It's clear from the other comments that "do" could be replaced with "take" each time and it would still make sense. It would make sense in BrE too since, as I said, "take a course" is used here as well.

I consider the comma you've added to be optional. However, I don't know what you mean by "I find that last sentence every awkward".
 

Polyester

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Well, you won't get far doing a course if you don't study! A course is usually a period of instruction so there is a teacher and some students. By definition, the students study.

Come on, emsr2d2,
My full question is can I use study a course.
study= do= take
 

Lynxear

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emsr2d2 here is a quote from your post

It appears that BrE is the only variant in which it's absolutely fine.

Then you use "do" in your dialog example.

That appears to imply to me you are suggesting this was something where American English that normally uses "take" instead of "do" cannot be used.

I showed that "take" works just fine.
 

bhaisahab

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It implies no such thing to me.
 

emsr2d2

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emsr2d2 here is a quote from your post

Then you use "do" in your dialog example.

That appears to imply to me you are suggesting this was something where American English that normally uses "take" instead of "do" cannot be used.

I showed that "take" works just fine.

I don't see how you reached that conclusion. The original question was "Can we say "do a course"?" (my paraphrasing). The first few responders indicated that "take a course" would be preferable in their variants.

The gist of the posts leading up to the one you quoted are:

Post 1: "Can we say "do a course"?"
Post 2: Native English speaker (but not BrE, AmE or CanE) says "Yes".
Post 3: My corrections to post 1.
(Post 4: Side question about "do" meaning study.)
(Post 5: My response to post 4 only.)
Post 6: AmE speaker says "Use "take", not "do"."
Post 7: CanE speaker says "Use "take", not "do"."
Post 8: Another AmE speaker disagrees with "do" and suggests that "take" should be used.
Post 9: I take the opportunity to make it clear that in BrE the use of "do" in post 1 is "absolutely fine", as it is.

I entirely accept (and said as much) that in the other variants "take" is preferable and I said that you will also hear "take a course" in the UK.
 

andrewg927

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Lynxear, perhaps it is time for you to examine whether you favor BE over AE or vice versa, consciously or subconciously. I'm saying this with much love and compassion.
 

Lynxear

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I entirely accept (and said as much) that in the other variants "take" is preferable and I said that you will also hear "take a course" in the UK.

Really, then why did you use the word "ONLY" in this quote.

It appears that BrE is the only variant in which it's absolutely fine.

Those words suggest you felt BE had the only answer and you used the dialog to illustrate your point.
 

andrewg927

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My understanding from the quote is "do" is absolutely fine in BE while other variants of English may not always accept "do".
 

emsr2d2

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Really, then why did you use the word "ONLY" in this quote.

It appears that BrE is the only variant in which it's absolutely fine.


Those words suggest you felt BE had the only answer and you used the dialog to illustrate your point.

Well, I can't explain your reasons for reading it like that. The responses before mine suggested that it was not "absolutely fine" in other variants. I was simply pointing out that, of the variants that had already been covered, BrE was the only one which found "do a course" completely natural. That's exactly what I meant and that's exactly what I said. I made up a dialogue to show that such a conversation would be entirely natural in BrE. I did this solely so that the OP would be able to choose which verb to use based on the variant of English spoken by someone he/she speaks to in the future.
 
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