Or does "I'm learning a language Out of School" sound wrong somehow or MEAN SOMETHING ELSE?

1 Answer 1


No, and "out of school" has a completely different connotation!

I'm a native US English speaker. The phrase "out of school" generally has a specific meaning, used in telling someone something you are not supposed to be talking about, though there is a moral reason you should be. "I'm speaking out of school here." 'I shouldn't tell you why the....' (I'm telling you something that's confidential, or the management doesn't want known, though it should be, and I don't have authorization to speak.)

'Deep Throat' in "All the President's Men" was speaking out of school.

One would express the idea they were trying to convey like this: "Due to quarantine, I'm studying (a language, for example) 'on my own'."

"Self-study" implies a more formal course intended for self study, rather than picking up a book in another language and working your way through it.

One could also say, "I'm teaching myself to knit." "I'm working on learning German by myself" though 'on my own' would be more usual.

They wrote

Do you say “outside classes”, when mentioning study by yourself? I want to say that "now, I'm studying things other than what I learn in school" with this present perfect sentence: Due to quarentine,(sp) I have begun to study things out of school, especially languages.

Is out of school idiomatic in this context?

What could sound better?

which was actually a good question, just not the question they intended!

"Taking outside classes" would mean someone already in a formal course of study was supplementing it with “outside classes” from another source.

  • 2
    I agree that "on my own" is more common, but I've never heard the phrase "out of school" to mean "without authorisation". Do you have a reference for this?
    – James K
    Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 7:07
  • Reading old novels, particularly British.. google.com/…
    – VWFeature
    Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 7:25
  • I see that Michael Quinion in 'World Wide Words' gave 'telling tales out of school' as the oldest version. I (UK) am familiar with that expression, but not with 'speaking out of school'. Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 7:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .