Learn vs Study
Learn and Study are two verbs with similar meanings but there is some difference between them when it comes to usages. The two verbs, learn and study, are often confused as words that convey the same meaning. We tend to use these words, learn and study, as synonyms because we do not pay attention to the difference between them. That is why this article has made showing what the difference between learn and study as its objective. We will explore the two words separately with their definitions and examples that are given to clear the meaning of each word. As a result, at the end, you will be able to understand the difference between learn and study.
What does Learn mean?
The word learn, according to the Oxford English dictionary, means ‘gain or acquire knowledge of or skill in (something) by study, experience, or being taught.’ The word learn is also used to indicate the meaning of ‘mastering’ a subject as in the expression ‘learn to play the guitar’. As you can see mastering of something can be done only by acquiring knowledge about something.
The verb learn has its other forms as ‘learned’ and ‘learnt’. In British English, learnt is the past and past participle form of learn while in American English, learned is the past and past participle form of learn. The word learn indicates gaining knowledge of something or it refers to the skill acquired by experience. In other words, the word learn suggests ‘the development of a particular ability’.
It is interesting to note that the verb learn is often followed by the words ‘that’ and ‘how’ as in the sentences given below.
I have learned that she was away.
You can learn how to play the guitar.
In the first sentence, you can see that the verb learn is followed by the word ‘that’ whereas, in the second sentence, the verb learn is followed by the word ‘how’. Also, you can understand that the word learn is used to mean become aware of in the first sentence. So, the sentence means, I got to know that she was away.
What does Study mean?
The word study, according to the Oxford English dictionary, means ‘devote time and attention to gaining knowledge of (an academic subject), especially by means of books.’
The word study is generally not used in expressions like ‘study to play the guitar.’ That is because study is used in the sense of spending time to gain knowledge of an academic subject, and mainly through books.
The verb study is also used in the sense of ‘preparing’ for the examinations as in the sentence ‘he studied well to get first rank’. The word study is often used as a noun in the sense of ‘the devotion of time and attention to acquire information or knowledge mainly from books’. It refers to the pursuit of knowledge as in the sentence ‘he continued his studies’. The word study is used in combination with other words such as ‘room’ to form the word ‘study-room’.
Anything worthy of observation can be an object of study as in the sentence ‘the topic is fit for study’.
What is the difference between Learn and Study?
• The word ‘learn’ has a broad meaning. It means acquiring some knowledge through studying, education, or by experience. In that sense, study is a way of learning.
• The word ‘learn’ also suggests the development of a particular ability or mastering something, it can be a subject or any other skill, and it can be through any means.
• However, study is mainly used in the sense spending time to gain knowledge of an academic subject, and mainly through reading.
• In British English, learnt is the past and past participle form of learn while in American English, learned is the past and past participle form of learn. In both English forms, study has the past and past participle as studied.
• Study is used as both a verb and a noun. Learn is only used as a verb.
These are the main differences between learn and study.