If I'm doing homework, actually I'm learning or studying? If I'm at the university, actually I'm learning or studying?

I'm confused of that, and always I don't know what is the right word to choose. Is it a matter of personal choosing and everyone can choose what he wants of these two?

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    Studying is an activity which may or may not result in the accomplishment learning. See our tag wiki on aspect. Commented Oct 4, 2015 at 19:58
  • To add to the answer and comments, both learn and study have more than one meaning; and study can also be a noun, as well as a verb. In the meaning you mention, we "study" to "learn" about a subject. And we "learn" to gain knowledge and/or skill. The word "study" usually implies an education context (a school, a university, etc.), and in this context we usually "learn" a subject by "studying" it. The two words, though different, are closely related in the education context. Commented Oct 4, 2015 at 22:29
  • Related: Choosing the word: learn or study
    – ColleenV
    Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 17:28

2 Answers 2


It makes more sense to me if someone says
"I study Physics in XYZ University." than
"I learn Physics in XYZ University."

Look at one more example.
"I have learnt how to calculate 1+1 today in school."
"I have studied how to calculate 1+1 today in school."
The first one seems to tell people one has successfully obtained a certain skill, which the second does not tell.

I would say "learn" refers to gaining a certain new skill in mind while "study" refers to a relatively longer process for understanding something. If I were to prepare a coming examination in my room, I would choose "study" because I assume I have learnt everything I need in that semester.


Studying is the action that causes to learning. In other words, after you study you get the learning. As you can see in the following citation:

"As you study, you are making cell connections like these that solidify memories and permit learning to occur." (Cambell Biology, 10th Edition, p.93)

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