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Quick answer
"Curso" is a noun which is often translated as "year", and "materia" is a noun which is often translated as "matter". Learn more about the difference between "curso" and "materia" below.
curso(
koor
-
soh
)
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
1. (academic year)
a. year
Estoy en mi cuarto curso en la facultad de medicina.I'm in my fourth year of medical school.
b. school year (grade school)
El curso acaba en junio.The school year ends in June.
c. academic year (university and higher education)
El nuevo horario de clases entrará en vigor este curso.The new class schedule will take effect this academic year.
2. (class)
a. course
Este trimestre estoy tomando un curso de inglés y uno de francés.This semester I'm taking an English course and a French course.
3. (direction)
a. course
Las pruebas cambiaron el curso de la investigación.The new evidence changed the course of the investigation.
4. (water current)
a. course
El curso del río desaparece bajo la montaña.The course of the river disappears under the mountain.
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materia(
mah
-
teh
-
ryah
)
A feminine noun is almost always used with feminine articles and adjectives (e.g. la mujer bonita, la luna llena).
1. (substance)
a. matter
La materia ni se crea ni se destruye, solo se transforma.Matter is neither created nor destroyed, only transformed.
b. material
La madera es una materia dura y resistente.Wood is a hard and strong material.
2. (topic)
a. subject
Adquirí conocimientos sobre la materia en la universidad.I acquired knowledge of the subject at university.
b. matters
Es un entendido en materia de seguridad.He's an expert in security matters.
3. (content)
a. material
No hay materia suficiente para un libro.There isn't enough material for a book.
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