Submitted by alysondraper  •  February 10, 2011

“graduated high school” or “graduated from high school”?

Is it really proper to say “I graduated high school,” or should it not be, “I graduated from high school?” Previously, I thought only rednecks were able to “graduate high school.”

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In proper English, it should be "graduate from."

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Actually, the school graduates you, so it should be "I was graduated from high school."

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To graduate is successfully complete an academic course—in this case, high school. In formal English, it is "graduated from high school".

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Re: "February 10th, 2011 by Alyson Draper
Is it really proper to say “I graduated high school,” or should it not be, “I graduated from high school?” Previously, I thought only rednecks were able to “graduate high school.”

Actually, I do not believe a true redneck would have reason to use either expression!

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I agree

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Shaun C, that was a good one ;-)

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"I was graduated from high school/college" is the proper grammar. This was taught years ago and was an attempt to correct students from saying "I graduated from high school/college". Unfortunately, this "correction" morphed into "I graduated high school/college" which is even worst than what was originally being corrected!!!

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Oops! That should be "worse" instead of "worst".

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I think "I graduated high school" is now so widely used as to have become correct idiomatic American English. It may depart from the usual grammatical rules, but English is full of idioms that do that.

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"I graduated high school" simply sounds too stupid to be accepted as tolerable idomatic American English. "To graduate" means "to be granted an academic degree or diploma." To say: "I was granted a diploma high school" would be moronic.

I'll not accept, without a fight, dumbing down the language that badly.

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Bob, your opinion is invalid based solely on the name you chose to represent yourself.

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Publish 1950 graduating class from Davenport High School

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graduate
1 [no object] successfully complete an academic degree, course of training, or (North American) high school: he graduated from Glasgow University in 1990 http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/gradua...

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what about "an"high school education rather than "a" high school education.
Like an horrific dream ...

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As an update on this topic, at today's NBC News site I found these two headlines on the front page: "As their children graduate college...." and "Teen who lost mom in tornado graduates from high school". So today's copy editors randomly use one or the other (I've seen the same thing in newspapers). I would use the "from" version myself, but as time passes and I see more and more that omitted I fear the idiom is becoming ingrained. Can full acceptance be far behind?

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@wes - that only makes sense if you don't pronounce the H - do you really say 'orrific? And I'm sure you don't say 'igh school, unless you're a Cockney.

To give a British perspective, for us it's exactly as AnWulf has said - always "from", and the student always graduates from the school/universit, never vise-versa. The idea of the school/university graduating the student seems only to exist in North American English.

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Oops! - university, vice versa

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For what it's worth, it's nice to see that Grammar Girl agrees with those of us who see "from" as essential for good English: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/graduated-... (" If you go around saying you graduated college, you sound illiterate. The correct way to say it is that you graduated FROM college.")

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@providencejim - Yes, I nearly linked to that one myself; it's not often Mignon Fogarty gets in that much of a tizz about something. But there's no real reason why an intransitive verb can't turn into a transitive one; it's no doubt happened plenty of times before, although I can't think of any examples off the top of my head. After all, we change plenty of nouns into transitive verbs - "to access files", "to input data" etc. (I draw the line, however, at "We need to decision this"). But as you say, only time will tell

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I graduated my high school once with some paint. That was before I graduated from there though.

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@bob...

"To graduate" means to grant not to receive a degree. Harvard will graduate two red necks this spring. The red necks were graduated from Harvard (and now they may not go home).

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