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Cours Meaning & Translation: Lesson, Class, Course in French

Cours Meaning & Translation: Lesson, Class, Course in French

Today we’ll have a look at the masculine noun cours, which translates to lesson, class and course in French. For this noun, both the singular and plural forms end in -s. In addition, the -s is always silent based on French reading rules. Let’s jump right into the cours!

French Word of the Day lesson teaching how to use the word "cours" (lesson, class and course).

Cours: Lesson, class and course in French

Word origin

The modern French noun cours (lesson, class, course) comes from cursŭs (running, race, lesson) in Latin. Similar feminine French nouns are course (race) and cour (courtyard, school recess area). The French adjective court(e) means “short” in the context of the length of an object or distance between places.

Example sentences

For this first example sentence, je suis translates literally to “I follow”. This is the first-person singular form of suivre (to follow), which is used in the context of “taking” classes or courses. Je suis also translates to “I am”, the first-person singular form of être (to be).

Je suis des cours de français avec un super prof !

I’m taking French lessons with a great teacher!

For this second example, cours translates to “class”. Be careful of the pronunciation of maths (math) in French. Pronounce it as [mat] and do pronounce an English -th.

Le cours de maths hier a été trop difficile pour moi.

Yesterday’s math class was too hard for me.

For this third example sentence, cours translates to “course”. The reflexive verb s’inscrire means “to sign up for” or “to enroll for/in”.

Je me suis inscrit au cours de philosophie.

I signed up for the philosophy course.

This next example sentence shows that classe (class) is a synonym for cours. The verb poser (literally to put, place) is used for “to ask” a question.

Je pose une question au prof après la fin de la classe.

I’m asking the teacher a question after class ends.

This final example shows that leçon is another synonym for cours. The ne…rien (nothing, anything) structure is an example of an advanced French negation rule.

Je n’ai rien appris dans cette leçon !

I didn’t learn anything in this lesson!


Congratulations! You now know how to use cours (lesson, class and course) in French! Now check out our lesson covering the verb bosser, which means “to work, work hard” but also can be used in the context of studying or preparing for exams.

Example of how to use "cours" in French: La prof donne un cours. = The teaching is giving a class.
La prof donne un cours. = The teaching is giving a class.

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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