"J'ai fait une course" - does this mean:

  1. I did a run or I went running Or
  2. I ran an errand or I did an errand ?

I'm trying to understand the context we can use to understand what is the meaning of "course" or should we always clarify running as "course à pied" ?

  • Usually the context will be obvious: j'ai fait une course cette année : le marathon de Paris / j'étais parti faire une course ce matin quand mon téléphone a sonné... And course à pied is not always substitutable for course (neither is "running" for "race"). Oct 18, 2023 at 7:11

1 Answer 1


It might be either depending on the context.

J'ai fait les courses is almost always "I run errands".
J'ai une course à faire is about an errand too.

On the other hand:

Il fait la course en tête (he is leading) is obviously about a race (course is more a race than a run.)

Course might also have specialized meanings. When a taxi driver fait une course, that means he is on a ride.

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