Difference Between Studying and Learning: What Are They?

What differences between studying and learning? Many people do not know the difference between studying and learning. Do you know?

In this article, I want to present the differences and show why you should not only study but study and learn.

I’ll start by analyzing each of the words …

What is the origin and meaning of the word study?

I always like to analyze the origin of the words, I believe that this way we discover how we should really interpret them.

Let’s start with the origin of the word study :

It is the Italian STUDIO, from the Latin STUDIUM, “act of being busy with something”, the same origin of  studying .

Studying is closely linked to the act of picking up a book, watching a video lesson, attending a class, that is, every action to acquire some kind of knowledge or skill.

Note that the Latin origin of the word does not make it clear if studying is really linked to some activity to acquire knowledge or skill, it simply mentions that it is the “act of being busy” with something. This information for us is very important and I will return to this concept later.

Now let’s look at the next word.

What is the origin and meaning of the word learn?

According to the word’s origin site, learning is:

It comes from the Latin ad, “together” more prehendere, with the sense of “taking it with you”, metaphorically “taking it with your memory”.

And this verb originates in prae-, “ahead”, more hendere, related to hedera, “ivy”, since this climbing plant clings to the walls in order to grow.

The meaning of learning according to the dictionary is :

Find out, retain in memory, become aware of; Acquire practical skill (in); Getting to understand (something) better thanks to a clearing of the capacity for appreciation, empathy, perception etc.

We can see that the word learn is much more linked to acquiring knowledge itself, that is when knowledge is consolidated in memory and enables the person to use it in his life.

I find it very interesting to correlate this word with the word Hera, which is precisely a plant that needs to cling to the walls to grow. We can by analogy understand that learning clings to study in order to develop.

I believe that from this point on you start to notice the differences between studying and learning, but I want to work a little more with this comparison.

The difference between studying and learning (Yes, there are many!)

Just to make sure that we are moving towards understanding …

According to what we saw in the concepts, studying is the act of reading, participating in the class, video class, or any activity that brings knowledge. Learning already is knowledge consolidated in memory. So far so good, isn’t it? Now comes the big secret …

Studying does not always lead to learning.

That’s right, it’s not because you are in a class, with a book in hand or in front of a video lesson you are learning.

Often your mind is elsewhere, you cannot pay attention, you cannot understand what you are studying, all of which can impede your learning.

Now it is very clear, from the origin of the word study, that it is not because you are dealing with something that is really getting results.

The opposite is also true! It is not mandatory to study to learn.

You are also not required to learn only through study. You can learn through experience or observation.

For example, you have learned at some point that you should not put your hand on the fire, as this can cause pain. You did not have to study the properties of fire to learn this, just because of your experience “it took you close to your memory”.

Now you must start thinking …

“Teacher, I understood all this, but so what? I really need to get that content to study and learn, just looking at it won’t solve my problem, what do I do? ”

I will answer this now …

How to study and learn for real?

For me to really study and learn is the ability to acquire knowledge through study to get the result you want.

Understand, from now on, that your goal should not be to study more, but to learn more, as I explained earlier in the text.

As you use methods to learn more your results improve. Better results make it easier to achieve your goal.

There is a concept that I developed called learning with intelligence, which means:

Acquire and develop knowledge through study to be successful in your professional and / or personal goals.

Understand that studying should lead to acquiring or developing knowledge for the result you want, otherwise you will be wasting time. You need to learn intelligently.

Read Also: 5 Tips For You Not To Forget What You Studied


My goal with this article was to clarify the meaning of these two terms that are very worn out and to show the difference between studying and learning.

Much confusion exists between studying and learning which leads many people to be lost in relation to what they are actually doing.

I hope that with this you now understand the way to achieve true learning, or, learn intelligently.

If you liked this article send it to a friend who needs to know this.

Leave a Comment