"Do a subject" means "studying a subject". But the Dictionaries said it is used in the UK. So my question is whether it is used in AE? So is this use common in America,is it used?


I did Science at XYZ University.

And can it be used for particular field like medicine?

I did medicine at XYZ University.

So is the use of "did" in this context natural in AmE?


I am going to say it is not common in AE. I don't believe I've ever heard "I'm going to do science in college." as an alternative to saying "I'm going to study science in college." When I hear someone say, "I'm doing science," I think they actually mean practicing it, not studying it.

  • So when telling someone about what you studied and where you studied it from,will it be natural to use it is past tense? Like: I did medicine from this college.(I got a degree in medicine from this college.) Or when telling someone about what you studied when you were studying in the past.(you aren't studying now.) @Don B. Apr 6 '19 at 17:50
  • To me "studying" medicine (if that's what you mean) is the natural expression. If you told the average American "I did medicine at Harvard," I don't believe they would understand you meant you studied at Harvard. So, what I'm telling you is that I would not use "doing medicine" as a substitute for "studying medicine" no matter what tense you use it in. I'm not saying no one ever says it. I'm just saying it is not commonly used that way that I know of.
    – Don B.
    Apr 6 '19 at 17:59
  • @It'saboutEnglish But let me qualify my last comment. Let's say you're in a conversation. The other person says, "I studied history at Yale." You say, "I did history at Harvard." They would understand from the context what you mean. That's different than just saying "I did medicine" without any context. But still, it is not a natural expression to use when you are telling someone where you studied or are studying.
    – Don B.
    Apr 6 '19 at 18:09

Rare but not completely unknown.

Some would say they are nearly British at Harvard, but still...

enter image description here

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.