I want to describe a situation here:

The students who study hard usually get better grade, but in contrast the students who didn't study hard usually get poor grade.

However, I don't want to use "the students who didn't study hard" to depict the other students.(Because lots of vocabularies repeat again.)

Any alternatives?

  • You could also characterize the two groups as the interested and the bored. Whatever terms you choose, they'll be wrong because no one motive, intention, or characteristic accounts for good and bad grades in school.
    – user21497
    Jan 15, 2013 at 15:29
  • 3
    Students who study hard get good grades; those that don't, don't. Jan 15, 2013 at 15:37
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    Jan 16, 2013 at 0:50

6 Answers 6


You could use lackadaisical in the sense of not really paying attention or caring:

From Oxford English Dictionary (OED):

lackadaisical, adj.

full of vapid feeling or sentiment; affectedly languishing. Said of persons, their behaviour, manners, and utterances.

In use:

The students who study hard usually get better grades, but in contrast the lackadaisical students usually get poor grades.

Or you could try laggard in the sense of lagging behind from OED:

laggard, adj. and n.

Lagging, hanging back, loitering, slow. Chiefly of living things, their actions, and attributes.

One who lags behind; a lingerer, loiterer.

In use:

The students who study hard usually get better grades, but in contrast the laggards usually get poor grades.


If you're looking for something a little more colloquial, slacker is used to describe a person who is lazy or doesn't perform his duties. The UK equivalent is skiving.

When used as a verb, "off" is often included, as in

but in contrast the students who slack off get poor grades.

  • 1
    I'm not quite sure about skive here; that would carry the connotation that the student didn't study at all; to skive off games means not to do games at all, not to do them lazily or unenthusiastically. See here (meaning 2). Jan 15, 2013 at 16:32
  • Maybe worth mentioning that "students who slack off" is gentler than "slackers" because it implies a temporary situation rather than a personality characteristic. Jan 23, 2018 at 18:46

You can call the two groups diligent and negligent respectively.


You could consider studious and inattentive for the two groups respectively.

  • 2
    I find it hard to agree with inattentive just because being inattentive doesn't necessarily mean that you will get bad grades. We need a word which could clearly depict the act of not studying hard.
    – Mohit
    Jan 15, 2013 at 16:06

If the aim is simply to avoid repeating all those words (students, study and hard), you can simply use words like others or the rest as well as elision (direct omission of words that are understood from context, within the limits allowed by the language):

Some possible endings:

The students who study hard usually get better grades, whereas ...

  • the rest do not.

  • the others do not.

  • those who don't, don't.

In the last one, it is understood that the first don't refers to don't study hard and the second don't refers to don't get better grades due to the expected order of the clauses.

  • I really think that in the context of OP who seems to be a foreign speaker, this is the best kind of answer. "Those who don't" provides a good reusable construction, instead of a fancy vocabulary word with limited capacity for reuse.
    – leoger
    Jan 15, 2013 at 22:28

Students who are not taking the educational opportunity seriously are "uncommitted" and certain to join the unemployed in their chosen profession.

  • I agree that such students are "uncommitted", but I doubt that they have "a chosen profession" other than being supported by mom and dad. I was a total slacker in secondary school and had no chosen profession until I hit my mid-20s. But that choice didn't stick with me, nor did I stick with it. That didn't happen till I was in my mid-50s.
    – user21497
    Jan 15, 2013 at 23:39

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