What's the difference between the three expressions above? I'm pretty sure that "Englisch Kurs" is right, since I've seen it before, but are the others wrong? If yes why?

And what about "Sprach Schule"? Is that right too? Or should it be Sprachschule?

2 Answers 2


Englischkurs is correct.

If I read an offer for an Englisch Kurs I would think I get lessons from a native English speaker, because the title seems to be defined by somebody who speaks English - not by somebody who speaks German.

Englischer Kurs sounds grammatically correct, but it does not mean language lesson. You may use it, if a school offers lessons in English and French. Then you have an englischer Kurs and a französischer Kurs. Or maybe you have a cooking lesson in English and French. Then you may say englischer Kurs to explain which lesson you mean.

Sprachschule is correct, Sprach Schule is not correct.

  • It seems to me there is an on-going tendency to separate compound nouns with spaces, and sometimes these words are joined back together again with hyphens ("English-Kurs"). In my physics course, I often see words such as 'Planck-Konstante' or 'Quanten Theorie"; I suppose it is especially common with technical or newly-coined terms and with people who can also speak English.
    – blutorange
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 21:14
  • 3
    I think, the problem with the use of spaces within compound nouns is that people “copy” from English terms. But that does not mean that it is correct. “Quantenmechanik” is correct. “Quanten Mechanik” is not. You can, however, use a hyphen to connect two nouns. This makes a lot of sense if the compound noun would be very long as the hyphen may help to make the word easier to grasp. Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 0:33
  • Es kann hilfreich sein um die Erfassung wie in Ur-Instinkt zu vereinfachen. Heute hatte ich kurz Schwierigkeiten das Wort Wachaumarathon zu identifizieren. Wachau-Marathon wäre hier hilfreich gewesen. Kombinationen unterschiedlicher Sprachen wie Back-Shop sind auch mit Bindestrich leichter erkennbar. Commented Aug 8, 2013 at 1:57

Englisch Kurs is wrong. It contains a so-called Deppenleerzeichen. Correct is Englischkurs.

See the relevant Wikipedia article: Leerzeichen in Komposita

It’s an error you’ll see very often. Collections of photos are at Flickr and this blog.

Related questions:

  • +1 for all the internal refererences :)
    – Takkat
    Commented Aug 7, 2013 at 13:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.