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Language tip of the week: student

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 student.



In the UK, a student is someone who is studying at university or college. A child at school is usually called a pupil, although schools sometimes refer to older children as students.

In the US, student can refer to anyone who is studying at school or university.

British speakers use postgraduate to refer to someone who has finished their bachelor’s degree (=first degree) and is studying for an advanced degree. In the US, you would call this person a graduate student.

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