Certificated and Certified

16 August, 2019

This week we answer a question from Leandro in Brazil. He writes:


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"I would like to know what's the difference between the words certificated and certified." --Leandro, Brazil


Dear Leandro,

Let's start with the second one, "certified." As a past tense verb, it means to have said officially that something is true or correct.

For example, let's say a couple in the United States got married legally. Officials had to confirm when, where and with whom the wedding took place. In other words, the government certified the marriage.

"Certified" can also be an adjective. It means someone is officially qualified to do a specific type of work. For example, imagine you have a problem with your kitchen sink. Water is pouring onto the floor. Neither your neighbor nor your cousin can fix it. You will need to call someone certified to do the work!

Here is what you can say: "I have a serious problem. I need a certified plumber to fix my sink."

Or, "Please send someone certified to fix kitchen sinks." In these examples, "certified" is an adjective describing a kind of person.

When your certified plumber arrives, he might even show you a certificate to prove his qualifications. A certificate is the noun form of "certify." It is often a piece of paper that shows a person completed classes or passed a test.

Now, to "certificated." This is also an adjective form of the word "certify," but it is used mostly in British English.

Here is an example:

Jane is a certificated teacher.

In American English, we would just say that Jane is a certified teacher. Both words mean that Jane has the official qualifications to do the job.

And That's Ask a Teacher!

I'm Anne Ball.

Anne Ball wrote this story for VOA Learning English. Kelly J. Kelly was the editor.

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Words in This Story

specific – adj. special or particular

qualification – n. a special skill or type of experience or knowledge that makes someone suitable to do a particular job or activity — usually plural