So, when I typed “this school” in the Weblio search, it brought up these three terms: この学校, 本校, and 当校.

  • I know that この means “this”.
  • 学校 definitely means “school”.
  • 校 means “school”, but it seems to need a modifier most of the time.
  • 本 means “this”, “the same”, “present”, “in question”, “head”, “main”, “real”, and “regular”.
  • 当 means “this”, “the present”, and “the current”.

Let me try an example. I went to a school for a year before I dropped out. If I refer to it as “this school” after I dropped out, which term should I choose?

If I knew the difference, it would probably make it easier to pick one!


I went to a school for a year before I dropped out. If I refer to it as “this school” after I dropped out, which term should I choose?








  • 2
    This answer is amazing! If you don't mind, I would like to provide a translation of it in English. Please don't hesitate to point out any mistakes! Jun 24 '18 at 14:48
  • In such a case, you usually don’t use “当校” or “本校”. Jun 24 '18 at 14:49
  • School officials (people who work there as people who manage the school, teachers, officer workers and so on) usually use “当校” and “本校”. Jun 24 '18 at 14:49
  • After you have brought up that school as a topic of conversation once, you will avoid repetition in case you refer to it the second time and after, and use “同校”. It is a slightly formal expression. Jun 24 '18 at 14:50
  • When university students and schoolchildren talk about their school in the school, they use “我わが校”. This is also a slightly formal expression. Jun 24 '18 at 14:50

As you analyzed, the three expressions have nearly the same meaning. Although it is not strict, I will use them properly for the following reasons.

(1) Whether it is "Yamato kotoba / wago" or "Kango".
(2) In case of kango, which is more commonly used, or whether there are many homonyms in a particular case. It is essential to pay attention to the number of homonyms, especially when used in conversation in order to avoid confusion.

So, when you are talking about school, since honkoh has fewer homonyms than tohkoh, in general [本校]{honkoh} is safely used in conversation.

As for Yamato kotoba / wago or Kango, I'll show you some useful infomation from here.

It says:

  • Yamato kotoba (大和言葉, literally "Japanese words") are native Japanese words, meaning those words in Japanese that have been inherited from Old Japanese, rather than being borrowed at some stage. They are also known as wago (和語). Together with kango (漢語) and gairaigo (外来語), they form one of the three main sources of Japanese words (there is also elaborate Japanese sound symbolism, of mimetic origin).

  • Very roughly, kango are generally more formal, often restricted to writing, while yamato kotoba are more casual and more often used in speech, but both types of words are commonly used in both speech and writing.

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