Graduate or graduate from?

The Ms raised this question the other day. Which is correct? Or is it either? I’ve heard and read both versions.

In case the question is not clear, is it:

  1. He graduated college in 1965 , or
  2. He graduated from college in 1965.

The older fussy pedantic form was “graduated from.” However, graduate college has been standard American usage for so long that you need to suspect anyone who objects to the form as having incurable terminal prescriptivism.

Recovering prescriptionist here.

[full pedantic mode]
Actually, it should be “He was graduated from.”
[/full pedantic mode]

“Graduated from” is probably preferred, but “graduated” is OK in most uses.

Depends on your audience. ‘Graduated college’ sounds very American to me - we’d generally stick with ‘graduated from…’.

(And on checking, the Cambridge dictionary agrees with me, but also doesn’t mention RealityChuck’s pedant version at all: )

I agree with Gorilla Man: “graduated college” is an American usage. My experience in Canada is that you normally hear “graduated from college”. (And my father’s told me that in his day, “was graduated from” was also used.)

This was always my understanding. Originally, a college graduated a student, not the other way around, with or without a preposition. That being said, I doubt I’ve ever actually *used * that usage in my life!

I’ve also never heard (or at least thankfully don’t remember hearing) “graduated Joe’s State,” and I’ve spend my entire life in the US. That’s just horrible. Graduated from, please.

While we’re at it, something is recommended to someone or *for * someone. I’ve been really horrified to see threads entitled “Recommend me a Giant Squid” or whatever it was that the OP wanted to get. Does it really take *that * much energy to type three or four extra characters, including the space?

I suspect it’s either a regional thing or one of those usages that’s in the process of evolving.

In my neck of the woods (Tennessee and Alabama) it’s always been “graduated from” and I don’t recall the “was graduated from” version before now.

Perhaps the context I’m familar with is predicated on the idea that one “graduates” to another level of education. That is to say, one graduates from grammar school TO high school or from high school TO college. Yes, this tends to break down at the higher levels as when one gradutes from college TO graduate school or some specialty school like Law or Medicine or Divinity.

The graduate student may move on beyond a Master’s program to a doctorate, but I don’t recall hearing of a graduate student graduating TO a doctorate.

The usage “graduate high school” (and the like) sounds as out of place as “standing on line” does. It’s a regional issue, I propose.

I’m with Chuck – the technically correct version is “John was graduated from the University of Florida last June.” But “He graduated from there” is an acceptable form in all contexts today, even the most formal, while “He graduated college” is OK in most cases, although I don’t think it particularly mellifluous. OTOH, “He graduated the University of Florida” or “They graduated Harvard in 1893” is wrong.


And since God does the converting, “My parents *were converted to * Catholicism”. :wink: