Study hard (ok) Learned hard (not ok). Why is this?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Curious about Language, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. Curious about Language Senior Member

    Australia, English
    A Japanese friend of mine asked me why it is okay to say "studied hard" but not "learned hard". I would guess that it is related to the fact that although study and learn are similar, studying is more like examining, and learning is more like accumulating knowledge. In the same way, we could say "I work hard" but not "I earn hard".

    If anyone out there could shed a little light on this, it would be much appreciated!
  2. emma42 Senior Member

    North East USA
    British English
    Yes, your example: "work hard" and "earn hard" is very good. I can't really add anything to what you have said!
  3. I think, it is because "study" refers to the general continuous activity and "hard" to the intensity of it, while (I am not sure what the grammar terms for these are) but "learn" is something you use rather with regard to the result that to the prolonged actiivty.
  4. anothersmith Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English, U.S.
    Studying and working are active endeavors; learning and earning are relatively passive.

    It makes sense to use an adverb like "hard" when describing an active activity, but not so much when describing a relatively passive one.
  5. Curious about Language Senior Member

    Australia, English
    Thank you all for your comments, they are much appreciated!
  6. selavy59 Member

    England English
    Collocation, collocation, collocation. I'm afraid some words work together and some words don't. It's no good applying logic. "Ah" I hear you say. How do I learn what words go together and what words don't. The answer is Experience. No easy route, just do lots of reading and asking, as you have done here.
  7. Curious about Language Senior Member

    Australia, English
    It is a bit like that, isn't it? Experience, experience. Thanks for your input!

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