Following on to last month’s post Beibringen, lehren oder unterrichten? Let me teach you! today’s post is about the learners instead of the teachers.

What do we call the learners in German?

Unlike in English, not everybody is a student.


Those who go to school because they have to, (primary and secondary school), are pupils and not students.


Only those who study at university are students, nobody else


As only students at university level are called students, they are the only ones that study instead of learn. So the verb you need to use is studieren.


Those who learn at school, are learning, not studying. So the verb is lernen.

What about adult education?

To recap:


Just to really confuse you ☺
We also use ‘studieren’ when we scrutinise something, for example an IKEA instruction: Ich studiere die Montageanleitung von IKEA.

Or when we peruse something, like the newspaper: Ich studiere die Zeitung.

I hope you’ve studied my blog post enough to give Bart Simpson an answer ☺

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *