Thu, Oct 03, 2019 - Page 15 News List

American & British English

There are many differences between American and British English on the subject of education. Here are some of them.

In the UK, students go to a university for an academic degree and to a college for more skills-based vocational training; in US English, college also refers to a university in which one gets their bachelor’s degree.

In the UK, a student is someone studying in a college or university, while a child in elementary — or primary — school is called a pupil. In the US, a student is anyone studying, from elementary school up through university. Someone in the US who has completed their bachelor’s degree and is pursuing a further degree is called a graduate student; in British English, the term is postgraduate student. The system used in the US to refer to the four years as an undergraduate — freshman, sophomore, junior and senior — is not used in the UK, where they simply say first/second/third and final year student.

In both countries, the word “class” refers to the unit of people you are studying with (as in, “I was in the same class as your brother in senior high school”). In the US, a class is also a course of instruction in a given subject (as in, “I’m taking a class in math”) but in the UK this would be called a course (“I’m taking a course in maths”). The idea of class collectively referring to every student graduating in a certain year (“I was in the class of 1997”) does not exist in the UK.

Finally, in the US, class is the specific period during which you are taught (“What time is your math class today?”) but in the UK they would use lesson for this (“What time is your maths lesson?”).

(Paul Cooper, Taipei Times)



在英國,「student」(學生)是指在「university」或「college」就讀的人,而上小學──「elementary school」(或「primary school」)的孩子則稱為「pupil」(小學生)。在美國,從小學到大學的學生都可稱為「student」。已獲學士學位並繼續深造的學生,在美國稱為「graduate student」(研究生∕博士生),而英式英文則是說「postgraduate student」。美國稱呼大一生至大四生的用語分別是「freshman」、「sophomore」、「junior」、「senior」,但英國並未採用這套用語,而只是稱為「first year student」、「second year student」、「third year student」,以及「final year student」。

在英、美兩國,「class」都是指「班級」──例如,「I was in the same class as your brother in senior high school.」(我高中和你哥哥同班)。在美國,「class」也是一門課的教學課程──例如,「I’m taking a class in math」(我修數學課),但在英國則是用「course」這個字──例如,「I’m taking a course in maths」。美國的「class」也有「屆」的意思──例如,「I was in the class of 1997」(我是一九九七級/一九九七年畢業的一屆),但在英國並沒有這樣的用法。

最後,「class」在美國也指上課的特定時段──例如「What time is your math class today?」(你今天幾點上數學課?),但在英國則是用「lesson」這個字──「What time is your maths lesson?」。


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