Imagine, you see a non-native speaker sitting at a table with pencil and a book and notebook etc. You think he is either doing his homework or he is preparing for an exam at school.

You ask him: "What are you doing."

He says "I am studying my lessons."

This sentence sounded unnatural to me, because you would not "study your lessons" but you "learn your lesson" in English. And "learning your lesson" is more about life, rather than subjects at school.

And I thought about what might have been a better version. Maybe "I am studying a lesson/lessons." However this would not sound idiomatic either.

And finally I think "I am studying." would be enough in itself, because it intrinsically refers to school subjects.

But I still wonder, whether "I am studying a lesson/lessons" is ever used by native speakers in the sense they are doing what they were assigned at school or they are preparing for an exam at school?

  • 3
    I wouldn't normally say someone was "studying a lesson". Lessons normally refers to tuition sessions delivered by the teacher to the pupil(s) in a classroom. If you see someone "studying" at a table with writing instruments, textbooks, etc., he's probably doing homework. Or perhaps he's "going over, reviewing" a lesson he previously had in school. Aug 22, 2023 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


As an AmE speaker, "I am studying a lesson" sounds unidiomatic. Some alternatives are:

  • I am studying
  • I am revising
  • I am studying for my exam
  • I am reviewing my work from class

If you wanted to say you were doing homework, you literally just say "I'm doing homework".

You must log in to answer this question.

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