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Language tip of the week: school

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 school:



In both the UK and the US, school usually means a place where children are taught from the age of four or five until they are 18. American speakers also use school to refer to a university.

In the UK, you say that children are at school during the day:
The kids are at school until 3.00.

In the US, you usually say they are in school, but American speakers also use in school when they mean studying at a school or university rather than having a job:
She’s still in school, but she’s graduating in the spring.

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Liz Potter

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