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What is the most suitable word that substitutes for "go on" in the following sentence:

If too many people want to go on the morning course, we will have a second class in the afternoon.

Is it enroll or attend?

1 Answer 1

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There are several choices. You can do any of these -- and notice the prepositions are different:

  • sign up for a course
  • enroll in a course
  • take a course -- (no preposition!)

In American English, the following is not acceptable, but it might be okay elsewhere:

  • do a course

Add vs. Have

In your example, you might want to say "add a second class" instead of "have a second class", to emphasize that you'll be creating more spaces for students.

Course vs. Class

In your example, you use both "course" and "class". Some people would prefer you to use the same word both times (for parallelism), or you can even drop the second one -- see the examples below.

Informally, the words "course" and "class" are interchangeable, so this is totally understandable. But in American colleges and universities, in official writing, "course" might be used to represent all instances or "sections" or "class times" that the same material is offered.

At my university, they used "sections" to mean different "meeting times" of the same "course".

Among our courses, Economics 101 is the most popular, with classes offered at 10 AM, 11 AM, 2 PM and 4 PM.

Among our courses, Economics 101 is the most popular, with sections meeting four times a day.

So any of these would be good:

  • ✓ Yes: If too many people want to take the morning class, we will add a second class in the afternoon.
  • ✓ Yes: If too many people enroll in the morning section, we will add a second (section) in the afternoon.
  • ✓ Yes: If too many people enroll in the morning class, we will add a second (class) in the afternoon.
  • ✓ Yes: If too many people join the morning class, we will add a second one in the afternoon.

Notice in the examples above, you can drop the second "class", or substitute the word "one" if you like. It is not necessary to have "class" and then "course" (or vice versa) -- the reader will wonder what the difference is.

What about "join"?

A commenter suggested "join a course", but this is not the best use of join.

The "course" is an abstract concept, a collection of ideas, so I don't think of "joining" it. The word "join" has a shade of meaning that includes sticking together or adhesion -- that you join with other people who also join with you.

So you can:

  • ✓ Yes: join a movement
  • ✓ Yes: join a political party
  • ✓ Yes: join a group
  • ✓ Yes: join a class of people
  • ✓ Yes: join a class of students

But not:

  • 🚫 No: join a course

because the "course" is not the people, it is the collection of concepts and ideas that are being studied.

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  • 1
    Thank you very much for your answer.
    – Laith Leo
    Aug 18, 2019 at 8:33
  • You’re welcome! If this answer is complete, please accept it with the green check mark button. If you need more please comment. Thanks for contributing and keep learning! Aug 18, 2019 at 12:24
  • Yes indeed, your answer if fully complete. Kindly, which "check mark button" you are referring to?
    – Laith Leo
    Aug 19, 2019 at 7:06
  • When you have received an answer that you believe is "complete", use the "checkmark" (right next to the answer, close to the up and down "voting" arrows) to mark it as accepted. You can also wait to see if you get additional answers. Learn more here. Keep contributing! Aug 19, 2019 at 10:23
  • OK. Already done!
    – Laith Leo
    Aug 19, 2019 at 10:46

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