What is the difference between learn and study?

What are the main differences between learn and study? This is a question which many people ask us, especially for those of you who are learning or studying English. So what are the differences?

Let’s start by looking at the definitions:

To Learn – to gain knowledge or skill by studying, practising, being taught, or experiencing something.

To Study – to read, memorise facts, attend school, etc., in order to learn about a subject.

Therefore studying is one way to learn.

This is why we can say “I studied but I didn’t learn anything”. It means I memorised facts or read about a subject, but for some reason did not gain any new knowledge or skills.

So why is it important to know the difference? This is because you, the student, must concentrate on the final objective: learning. You want to learn English. Therefore, you must find the best way to gain this goal; maybe studying grammar for hours will not work. So you will be studying but not learning. You must find which is the best way for you to learn!

If you would like to continue learning English, did you know that you can sign up for free to the ABA English course and get completely free access to 144 video classes among other great resources to help you improve your level of English?

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  1. We’re so happy you enjoy it!

  2. The path to learning is unique to each person Nikorn 🙂

    I am sure you are doing everything you can!

  3. So can you ask someone how long he has been learning something? As you said, if learning is a goal to achieve supposedly it can’t have a duration. Sorry, I got more confused now. To be honest i dont see big difference here. Thank you anyway.

  4. Hi! Well, studying is one way we can learn. So you weren’t wrong 🙂

  5. Hello Yuping! Greetings to China!

  6. Dear Kate! I confused. Never mind. I’ll continue to make mistakes , as usual. Thank you!

  7. I agree with the author because I have seen the similar information on other Web pages. I would ask the author add some examples with using of these words. Thanks.

  8. Learn is a result, study is a process, am l right . hello from Russia

  9. Hello from Cambodia.I can understand now and I also can classify both of them.I am really enjoy it,thank you. Studying is one way we can learn, learn is a result and study is a process, that’s right .

    • George Talbot

      Hi Kosal,

      thanks for your comment. We are glad that you now understand the concept of each one. Well done and keep up the good work 🙂

  10. If we study hard we can learn

  11. thank you very much it is so useful

  12. Hello, I think the best way to learn English is practice. English is my third language but I try to improve it because it’s the language that unite all over the world. If anyone want to practice with me Arabic or French, I’m at your service.

  13. My English teacher has never told me about the difference! She said it’s the same…

  14. Hello
    Everyone must work hard to achieve their desire goal .
    So do hard work don’t wait for good Outcome . It will come as a surprise.
    Hope you really enjoy .

  15. I watch Netflix with english subtitles.

  16. Franklin Symes

    Hi… if I’m not mistaken… the difference between studying and learning, is similar to the difference between searching and finding? Just let me know if I’m right or wrong.

  17. Thank you! such as useful information…

    Could you give academic sources that support those definition of learning and studying?

  18. Hmmm… even explanation doesn’t help here a lot. I guess “studying” is a reading of formulas, drawing diagrams, do the math, etc INCLUDING PRACTICE. But this process doesn’t guarantee you finally know your subject. So people who has “knowledge about subject” can say “I learned this subject”, other people should say “I just studied subject” (and didn’t catch anything). 🙂 Right?

  19. I think when we study a subject or something but don’t see a result as in the impact of what you studied had in your life, you didn’t learn because we don’t go to school to study and that’s all. No. I’m from Ghana.

  20. Hello from myanmar.
    Glad to see you all.

  21. If we’re implying a school as an education system including all experiences (both in classroom and outside) the students will get from the school. Which one is correct?

    This school is a great place to study. OR
    This school is a great place to learn.


  22. Januario fernandes

    Your explication is very detailed for me to understand the difference os study and learn. So I can conclude that “when you learn something mean that you study about it, but when you study something not mean that you learn about it”. Huge Timor-Leste.

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