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Language tip of the week: professor

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 usage in American and British English of the word professor:



In the UK, a professor is a university teacher of the highest status, and is often in charge of a department. In the US, a professor is any full-time teacher at a university.

In the UK someone begins as a lecturer, then becomes a senior lecturer, then sometimes a reader, and finally a professor.

In the US someone begins as an assistant professor, then becomes an associate professor, and finally a full professor.

School teachers are never called professor, except in fiction.

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Liz Potter

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