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Thread: learn vs study

  1. #1
    angelene001 is offline Member
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    Default learn vs study

    I've got a problem with these two words. I don't understand the difference.
    Could you tell me if I use them correctly in the sentence above?

    1. I haven't written to you for so long because I had a lot of learning.
    2. I've passed all the exams so I can go to university and learn maths.
    Last edited by angelene001; 21-Jan-2013 at 20:45.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: learn vs study

    We tend to learn facts. We do this by studying over a relatively long period of time. After studying them for a period of time, we can usually say that we have learnt them.

    When you were a child, you did not know that 2+2=4. You had to study maths. After a while, you learnt that 2+2=4. You studied addition until you understood how to add two numbers together. Once you had studied it and understood it, you knew how to add numbers together.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #3
    driftwood is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: learn vs study

    1. I haven't written to you for so long because I had a lot of studying.
    2. I've passed all the exmas so I can go to university and study maths.

    I think you ought to use 'study' in place of 'learn'.

    I have studied English for 10 years, but I have not learned how to speak in English.
    As this sentence illustrates, you can study English but you may not have learned (or acquired the skill) how to speak in English.

    When you study something, you are in the process of acquiring the knowledge of something. At the end of this process, you may or may not acquire the knowledge. If not, you have not learned anything.

  4. #4
    angelene001 is offline Member
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    Default Re: learn vs study

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    We tend to learn facts. We do this by studying over a relatively long period of time. After studying them for a period of time, we can usually say that we have learnt them.

    When you were a child, you did not know that 2+2=4. You had to study maths. After a while, you learnt that 2+2=4. You studied addition until you understood how to add two numbers together. Once you had studied it and understood it, you knew how to add numbers together.
    When you put it like that I understand the difference.
    When I see such a sentence :
    "I haven't written to you for so long because I had a lot of learning"
    I still don't know if it is correct.

    "I had a lot of learning" meaning "I had to gain a lot of knowledge" and stressing the positive final effect not the process.
    I haven't written because I had too much to learn.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: learn vs study

    Quote Originally Posted by angelene001 View Post
    When you put it like that I understand the difference.
    When I see such a sentence :
    "I haven't written to you for so long because I had a lot of learning"
    I still don't know if it is correct.

    "I had a lot of learning" meaning "I had to gain a lot of knowledge" and stressing the positive final effect not the process.
    I haven't written because I had too much to learn.
    "I haven't written to you for so long because I had a lot of learning." This is not correct.

  6. #6
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: learn vs study

    Quote Originally Posted by angelene001 View Post
    When you put it like that I understand the difference.
    When I see such a sentence :
    "I haven't written to you for so long because I had a lot of learning"
    I still don't know if it is correct.

    "I had a lot of learning" meaning "I had to gain a lot of knowledge" and stressing the positive final effect not the process.
    I haven't written because I had too much to learn.
    No, that doesn't work like that. You would have to say "I had a lot of learning to do before I could write back."

  7. #7
    angelene001 is offline Member
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    Default Re: learn vs study

    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    1. I haven't written to you for so long because I had a lot of studying.
    2. I've passed all the exams so I can go to university and study maths.

    I think you ought to use 'study' in place of 'learn'.

    I have studied English for 10 years, but I have not learned how to speak in English.
    As this sentence illustrates, you can study English but you may not have learned (or acquired the skill) how to speak in English.

    When you study something, you are in the process of acquiring the knowledge of something. At the end of this process, you may or may not acquire the knowledge. If not, you have not learned anything.
    Can't I say that I'm happy because at university I will finally learn maths meaning I will acquire the knowledge and understand the subject?

    I understand that it is probably more natural to say "study maths" when we talk about the univeristy.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: learn vs study

    Quote Originally Posted by angelene001 View Post
    Can't I say that I'm happy because at university I will finally learn maths meaning I will acquire the knowledge and understand the subject?

    I understand that it is probably more natural to say "study maths" when we talk about the univeristy.
    Yes, you can say, "I'm happy because at university I will finally learn maths," meaning that you'll acquire the knowledge and understand the subject.
    It's not necessarily more natural to use 'study' with 'university'. The words have different meanings. You can study a painting, say, without learning anything (arguably), and you can learn things without studying.

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