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Language tip of the week: class

Learn English with Macmillan DictionaryIn this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are usually based on areas of English which learners find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, usage, etc.

This week’s language tip helps with the differences in how people use the word class in American and British English.



In both the UK and the US, a class is usually a group of students who are learning together: Jill and I were in the same class at primary school.

You can also (especially in the US) use class to mean a group of students who all completed their studies in a particular year: Tim was in the class of 2005.

Class can also mean a series of lessons in a particular subject: She’s taking a class in business administration. The usual British word for this is course: a course in business administration.

Class can also mean one of the periods in the school day when a group of students are taught: What time is your next class? British speakers also use lesson for this meaning, but American speakers do not.

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Liz Potter

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