I think that the main sentence "I graduated the high school." can have two meaning, although that interpreted meanings are odd.

One is "I received a diploma from the high school." ,and the other is "I granted academic diploma to the high school."

Are these correct?

And I've supposed that main sentence gives misunderstanding to people because it has two meaning.

So I think It is better way that I should avoid to write ambiguous sentence like main when I wanna express just one meaning "I received a diploma from the high school." except "I granted academic diploma to the high school."

So this sentence "I graduated from the high school." is better than main sentence in that it doesn't have ambiguous meaning unlike main sentence.

Is my thinking in this writing right?

  • "I graduated the high school" will never mean "I graduated from high school".
    – Catija
    Feb 15, 2017 at 23:36
  • @Catija - no? I mean, people say "I graduated college" and "I graduated from college" with exactly the same meaning. Only the use of the strikes me as odd.
    – stangdon
    Feb 16, 2017 at 0:11
  • @stangdon the question originally read "I graduated high school"... that's what my answer addresses. An edit changed it to "I graduated the high school". I've never said that there's anything wrong with the former. My answer, in fact, states that it's quite common.
    – Catija
    Feb 16, 2017 at 0:28

1 Answer 1


I would say that for most (if not all people) the second meaning would never be inferred in natural discussion for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, you don't grant an academic degree to a high school... you grant a degree to a class or a group of students. So, if you mean to say that you conducted the graduation ceremony and were the person who "graduated" them... that's a valid use, but you'd say:

I graduated the [Anytown High School] 2010 senior class when I gave the keynote address at their ceremony.

Note that you can name the school but the group being graduated is still the "senior class", not the "Anytown High School".

And, secondly, using "graduated" this way is just not very common, so the first meaning would be much more common.

Now, let's look at the sentence itself:

I graduated high school.

Yes, people say this. It's pretty lazy English. If you're in a formal situation you would never use this. The correct phrase is

I graduated from high school.

And, if there were any ambiguity (though there is not) this would remove it entirely.

  • 1
    Technically, the school would have graduated you (not the principal or the commencement speaker), but you're right that almost no one speaks that way any longer.
    – choster
    Feb 15, 2017 at 23:51
  • Technically, yes, but I've heard people use it this way. There seems to be a group (in my area, anyway) that think that telling someone to change the side of the hat their tassel hangs on is "graduating" them.
    – Catija
    Feb 15, 2017 at 23:53

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