Pupil vs. Student

This time we're gonna learn about all the differences and similarities between these two. Are you ready? Do you still wanna expand your knowledge? Let's go.

"Pupil'" vs. "Student" in English

What Is Their Main Difference?

Both refer to learners intending to study and learn new academic lessons. However, 'pupil' refers to young learners under the age of 18 attending schools, whereas, 'students' mainly refers to adult learners in universities, colleges, art classes, etc. Also, British speakers tend to use 'pupil' for young learners, while American speakers prefer 'students' for learners of any age.


As stated above, 'pupil' refers to young learners attending schools. These young learners need exceptional control and administration in their learning processes. This term is mainly common among native British speakers. Take a look at the following examples:

Only when the pupils left the schools was Hannah able to rest her mind for a bit.

One by one, the pupils stood in line.

As mentioned above, 'student' refers to adult learners that have entered a college or a university. However, these learners do not need administration and can study well on their own. These learners are not necessarily academic ones; they can learn art, music, painting, etc. Note that American speakers tend to use this term for learns of any age, even young learners. Check out the examples below:

The students started shouting altogether.

All students entering Hogwarts must be put in different groups.


As mentioned above, they both refer to learners with the intention of gaining knowledge and skills. look at the examples below:

It is important that teachers be aware of the pupils' needs.

Many students have been killed only because they want freedom.

Are They Interchangeable?

If we want to point out young academic learners, we can use them interchangeably, but when 'student' is indicating an adult learner, it cannot be replaced with 'pupil'. Compare:

✓ The pupils all went into the garden and started playing with each other.

Here, it is referring to young academic learners, so it can be replaced with 'student'.

✓ The students all went into the garden and started playing with each other.


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