I imagine the noun "course" implies a smooth and well-maintained road but the noun "track" implies a rough road and not really maintained. But some dictionary says "on course" and "on track" both are used as "likely to achieve something". Is there any difference between "on course" and "on track" in the condition of the path they take.

  • I wouldn't consider a track to be rough -- consider a race track or a running track, both of which are quite smooth. A trail, on the other hand, could be quite rough. – Carl Reinke Aug 24 '17 at 6:42
  • Thanks! It's difficult to get it since a truck seems you need boots or good shoes to walk.On the other hand a course you can walk by barefoot. – kimi Tanaka Aug 24 '17 at 9:05

As nouns the difference between course and track is that course is a path, sequence, development, or evolution while track is a mark left by something that has passed along; as, the track, or wake, of a ship; the track of a meteor; the track of a sled or a wheel.

As verbs the difference between course and track is that course is to run or flow (especially of liquids and more particularly blood) while track is to observe the (measured) state of an object over time.

So on course is more like a being on the designated path while being on track is to work to achieve or reach what is required, irregardless of path followed.

  • Thanks for your reply. Now I can confirm my understanding! – kimi Tanaka Aug 24 '17 at 9:25

On course is the terminology used for ships and planes that are moving towards a destination point. The paths to that destination point are infinite. Ships and planes travel in open areas which allows captains or pilots to navigate and choose their paths. The line of travel for a train is already laid out on railroad. A train needs to follow a certain path to it's destination. On course implies options and the ability to determine a route versus on track being a clearly defined, proven way.

  • Thanks! It reinforces what I understand the difference between them so far. – kimi Tanaka May 25 '18 at 3:55

On Course is a planned or intended directional route. Ships and planes are navigated on a charted course. On Track is a specific, fixed directional path. Trains run on tracks.

  • Thanks for your answer! Could you please be more specific like the answer I confirmed since I would like to hear different opinion and am interested in different usage if you think the other answer is not sufficent. – kimi Tanaka May 14 '18 at 3:36

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