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How do you use the word "école" in Parisian French and Quebec French?

In American English, our universities are often called schools. When we're going to college, we say that we're "going to school". But I believe that in Parisian French, universities are never called école. Is that right?

Also, what about Quebec French? I'm asking this because I looked at the T2202 Tuition and Enrolment Certificate. On the certificate, it says "catégorie d'école". But this certificate can be used by university students, so why do they call it école?

May 8, 2020



Au Québec, l’université ne s’appelle jamais l’école. Pareil en France. High school in France is le lycée and l’école secondaire in Quebec. In Montreal, there are 4 principal universities, McGill and Concordia are English language and l’Université de Montréal et UQAM are Francophone. I just looked at your T2202 form - it is a tax form for any paid tuition, universities, colleges, even flying schools.


Merci beaucoup pour l'info !


In France we don't use "école" for universities indeed, we use "Université" or very often "Fac" (shortened version of Faculté).

"Ecole" can be used for kindergarten (we say "école maternelle" or "maternelle") or elementary schools ("école primaire" or "primaire" or "école" - so école used alone would tend to mean this one). Then we use "collège" for middle school (approx from 11 to 15 yo) and "lycée" for high school (~ from 15 to 18yo).

In France there are also "Grande Ecoles" which are selective higher studies, you may refer to it as your "school" if you're one of the students.

So the general path is: Ecole maternelle -> Ecole primaire -> Collège -> Lycée -> Université or Grandes Ecoles or others


For Parisian French, we don't call it "school", but I don't know for Quebec.


it says Category of School... University is referred to as Universite but it is also une categorie d'ecole...So too is Lycee..

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