Didn't go to college for (days, weeks, months)

Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,

Does the phrase "didn't go to college" (was absent from college) + "period of time'' (days, weeks, months) sound natural/correct in the examples I made below?

a. I didn't go to college for six days because I was sick. I had a lot of exams and work to do there, but couldn't go.
b. John didn't go to college for 3 months because he had to go on a business trip. When he came back from the trip, he had to make up the classes he missed.

Thank you in advance!
 
  • Pumpkin0222

    New Member
    English UK
    Yes this sounds natural and how I would talk to my friends.

    'I didn't go to work last week because I was sick.'
     

    Juhasz

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Not in American English. We would say "I didn't go to class/my classes/school for six days..." and "John didn't got to class/his classes/school for three months..."

    The phrase "I didn't go to college" suggests something like I was not a college student, not I did not attend college courses.
     
    That's understandable, but again, since in AE "college" means a university, and in many instances these days attendance is not being kept or marked because it's up to the student to show up or not, your sentence sounds more like you're writing a note of excuse which you wouldn't have to do.

    I'd probably just say, as to a fellow student who had asked where I'd been, "I took off six days because I was sick."

    That may or may not apply to your situation.
     

    Xavier da Silva

    Senior Member
    Thank you very much.

    I think I understand it now.

    "Go to college" refers to "be in college", "be a college student". If I want to say "go to college" on a specific period (one day, two weeks, six months, etc), then I have to use "school" meaning "college": "I didn't go to school for six days", "Did you go to school today?", "I didn't go to school on Wednesday", etc.
    Am I correct?
     
    I think so, yes, but only with the understanding that "school" in AE would mean anything from grade school, to middle school, to high school, all of them below the level of a college.

    As a very rough idea, anyone from the age of six to eighteen would be talking about not going to school on Wednesday/Xday.

    (And a slangy way to say that might be "I cut class on Xday.":))

    It's still tricky, though, since we're talking about AE/BE differences and perhaps cultural differences in Brazil.:rolleyes::)
     

    Xavier da Silva

    Senior Member
    Thank you very much.

    I think so, yes, but only with the understanding that "school" in AE would mean anything from grade school, to middle school, to high school, all of them below the level of a college.
    I think that makes it really necessary to provide context or to only use "school" meaning "college" when there is a clear context.
     
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