Schoolmate vs. schoolfellow

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jokaec

Senior Member
Chinese - Hong Kong
If we were in the same university, are we "schoolmates" or "school fellows"? If both, which one is more common in colloquial English? Thank you.
 
  • jokaec

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Hong Kong
    Please give us the complete sentence, jokaec.
    I am interested in modern AmE. For instance, when John and I studied in the same university before, when someone asks who John is. I can tell the questioner "John is my school mate or school fellow." I know there are alumnus and alumna, but they are either for male or female.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Neither "school mate" nor "school fellow" is used in modern AmE. "School" most often refers to primary and/or secondary education, not college, and certainly doesn't distinguish one from the other. We have a few terms with "mate" like "classmate" (someone in the same class/year) but very, very seldom would we use "fellow" in that way.
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Both "school mate" and "school fellow" (with or without the space between the words) sound odd to me, and I would never use them. (And while alumnus/alumna are wrong for your sentence, I'm not sure why you see the gender specificity as a problem, as you presumably know whether John is male or female.)

    I would just say "John and I went to college together" or "I know John from Princeton" (if Princeton is the school in question).

    [Cross-posted with Myridon]
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    I've never heard the expression 'school fellow', but 'school mate' is still used here. 'School buddy' is probably more common.

    He's one of my (old) school mates/He's a mate from school/He's one of my school buddies.
     

    jokaec

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Hong Kong
    Neither "school mate" nor "school fellow" is used in modern AmE. "School" most often refers to primary and/or secondary education, not college, and certainly doesn't distinguish one from the other. We have a few terms with "mate" like "classmate" (someone in the same class/year) but very, very seldom would we use "fellow" in that way.
    Both "school mate" and "school fellow" (with or without the space between the words) sound odd to me, and I would never use them. (And while alumnus/alumna are wrong for your sentence, I'm not sure why you see the gender specificity as a problem, as you presumably know whether John is male or female.)

    I would just say "John and I went to college together" or "I know John from Princeton" (if Princeton is the school in question).

    [Cross-posted with Myridon]
    Thank you all. Do you mean if I say "John is my alumnus" and it's wrong?
     
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