你好!

What's the difference between 学 (xue2), 校 (xiao4) and 学校 (xue2 xiao4)? I know the definitions but the thing with context is quite hard.

The first one simply means 'to study' or 'academic'. However, it seems to be used as 'school' apparently.

The second one claims to be "school"

The third one claims to be used in Wo3 qu4 xue2 xiao4 ("我去学校"), which means "I go to school".

Is it to do with context? For example, is the first used to represent a school and the third as its building (the building itself)? Why represent this as a few characters meaning almost the same?

So, what is the difference? Please help.

Thank you
Steve Woods.

  • might consult other dictionaries (for confirmation): bkrs ,iciba, LINE dictionary, 小马词典,does English "go to school" not mean "go to the school building" instead can say 上学 (cf。上班,go to work, similarly 下学,下班) – user6065 Aug 4 at 16:16
  • You made serious typo, your second character is 校 , not 恔 – Tang Ho Aug 4 at 17:19
up vote 3 down vote accepted

"学校" is a compound word means "school"

The character "学" is also in other compound words like 小学 (primary school), 中学 (middle school), and 大学 (university)

The character "校" is also in other specific terms like 軍校 (military school), 警校 (police academy)

  • 軍校 is short for 軍事学校

  • 警校 is short for 警察学校

  • 校 is just a short form of 学校 in these terms

Just like in English, the term "学校" (school) refers to the institution itself, it can be a whole building or buildings; a single room where a piano teacher teaches a few students can also be called a school (piano school)

  • Thank you so much. So, 学 is used for the children's schools and 校 for training stuff, right? Thank you very much. Thank you. I really appreciate it. – Steve Woods Aug 4 at 21:17
  • @Steve Woods No, '校' is a shortened form of '学校' . As in 轉校 =(轉学校), 男校=(全男子学校), 公校 =(公立学校); The character 学 means study or learn. It is also the components of terms like 学校, 小学, 中学 or 大学. The character 学 itself doesn't contain the meaning of 'school'. When we say '辦学', it is short for '辦学校'; when we say 停学, it is short for 停止上學 – Tang Ho Aug 4 at 21:51
  • The shortened form of XY小学, XY中学 and XY大学 are X小, X中 and X大; the character '学' is not used as a short form of '学校' in these examples – Tang Ho Aug 4 at 21:59

I agree that 校 is a short form of 学校. While 学 has a longer history of representing the meaning of 'school'.

In Han Dynasty, the highest educational institution is called 太学, which is in Changan, the capital. In provinces and counties, there're 郡学,州学,府学,县学, which are regional educational institutions.

The modern word 大学(university) is from early 20th century when universities were named 大学堂 or 大学校. So I believe 学 in 大学 is just a short form. Similarly, there're 中学 and 小学, which use a similar structure.

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