Not a native speaker. I realized that I don't know which word to use in the following sentence:

I have never suffered a broken leg past primary school.


I have never suffered a broken leg passed primary school.

  • We normally say "...never had a broken leg..." You suffer from an illness or a disease, not from a broken bone even if it does cause severe pain. – Mari-Lou A Jul 16 '19 at 9:28
  • 1
  • Not a native speaker, then you are on the wrong site. Please read the label. You need English Language Learners. – David Jul 16 '19 at 18:02
  • 1
    Nowhere on the home page does it say non-native speakers are not welcome. And...come to think of it, it's entirely appropriate for a non-native speaker to ask a question to the so-called English "experts". – Mari-Lou A Jul 17 '19 at 16:02
  • @Mari-LouA Suffer and suffer from are two different things. I have suffered broken bones. Others have suffered setbacks, car wrecks and job losses. Then there's the matter of suffering fools gladly. See Colin Fine's answer -english.stackexchange.com/questions/128657/… – Phil Sweet Jul 21 '19 at 19:41

Wecome to EL&U.

"Passed primary school" means either that you achieved an academic score which allowed you to progress beyond primary school (that is the equivalent of "passed the baccalaureate" for secondary school) or that you drove or walked past the primary school building.

"Past primary school" is closer to what you intend but is not the most common way to speak of something other than academic study. For instance it would be normal to say "I have not studied Spanish past primary school level" but not "I have not had a broken leg past primary school"

For almost anything else, including even academic study in many cases, the most normal form would be "Since primary school" so, in the case of your example, you would say "I have never suffered a broken leg since primary school". Even more common would be "I have never suffered a broken leg since I was at primary school". The first of these two forms is rather more likely to used to talk about something which was part of the school routine so you might say "I have never learned Spanish since primary school". The point is that a broken leg is a single occurrance which is not (in most schools anyway) a part of the school curriculum or the school routine and the connection between the broken leg and the school is that the fracture happened when you were at primary school, not necessarily because you were at primary school.

The best way to say what you originally posted is "I have never suffered a broken leg since I was at primary school"

  • Bachelor's degree (baccalaureate) is tertiary, not secondary, unless you qualify it by specifying that it's International Baccalaureate (IB) or European Baccalaureate (EB). Secondary is high school-level, tertiary is university- or trade school-level. – nick012000 Jul 16 '19 at 11:08
  • @nick012000 Not really according to The Guardian, and looking around the net the term "baccalaureate" without any qualification means different things in different countries, in many of them the equivalent of the British GSCE (which was what I was trying to replace with something a bit more unversally understood). – BoldBen Jul 17 '19 at 15:24
  • @Mari-LouA Have done. – BoldBen Jul 17 '19 at 15:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.