No One Ever Graduates College

It’s true. You can’t graduate a college—-or a high school—–or any other institution of learning. It isn’t possible.

The preferred usage of the verb graduate is the following: The local high school graduated 300 students this year or He was just graduated from college. The school, itself, is doing the graduating to the students, or the students were graduated by the school. This is its original usage.

For the past 300 years, the phrase was graduated from has been used as just graduated from, as in This year, 300 students graduated from the local high school.

Even more recently, usage has become more sloppy, with the preposition from being omitted, as in This year, 300 students graduated the local high school or I just graduated college. This is substandard grammatical construction—and it doesn’t make any sense.

I know that time is precious, and we’re all busy these days, but are we really so busy that we have to try to save time by cutting prepositions from our sentences? Say either I was graduated from school, The school graduated its students, or even I graduated from school, but not I graduated school.


Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever;

Sherry’s Grammar List

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