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Write the Right Word: Graduated From

Coming from an academic institution, we surely should know how to use “graduated” properly, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

When you are referring to someone who is a graduate of an institution, you must include the word “from” after “graduated.” For example: “He graduated from NDSU in 2004.”

Here’s a way to remember why you need to add the “from.” The act of graduating is something a school does to a student, not something a student does to a school. In other words, schools graduate students. So if you say “He graduated NDSU in 2004,” you are saying this student did something to the university.

Another way to look at this is that the shortest form of this sentence is “He graduated in 2004.” The “from NDSU” simply is a descriptive phrase giving the reader or listener more information.

Ellen Crawford, information specialist, (701) 231-5391

Filed under: Written Communication
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