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09 / 10 / 2007

COLLEGE (revision): meaning and examples

Good morning.

Today we look at another word that we talked about in the last Ziggurat Breakfast Club. Today's Daily Vitamin was originally sent on December 1st, 2004.

A very common error for Spanish-speaking English students is to use the word college to mean "colegio." However, college does not have this meaning in English AND there are differences between the use of college in UK and US English.

In UK English College usually means: a school where students over 18 are trained in a particular subject or skill, earning a qualification that is not usually an academic degree (art, agriculture, music, etc.).

Example 1
When my sister finishes secondary school, she would like to go to secretarial college.

Example 2
My friend Donny is such a good saxophone player that he has been accepted to the Royal College of Music.

Sometimes college is used in the names of British PRIVATE SCHOOLS.

Example 3
I'm going to send my son to Eton College.

In US English College usually means: a place where students, after secondary school, study for their bachelor's degree (sometimes called a junior college). College is also used to refer to universities that offer advanced degrees.

Example 4
After I finish secondary school, I want to go to college; I have applied to Stanford University because I think it's an excellent place to study.

In the US, when a person says that he/she wishes to go to college they are referring to attending a university. In the UK they are most likely referring to a post-secondary school professional qualification.

"Colegio" is usually translated into English as a primary school or private secondary school NOT a college.

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Have an excellent day!

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