美国早期的高等教育学校沿袭英国而称为College，19世纪后期，私立的College开设研究所后多改名为University，每州也将其首要之州立大学由Institute﹑Seminary﹑College或类似之名改为University。另早期许多科学、工程和理工的专门学校都称为Institute，有些后来也改名为University，但少数学校仍以Institute为名，如：麻省理工学院(Massachusetts Institute of Technology)和加州理工学院(California Institute of Technology)。
只有大学部的大学：然而也有学校具University之条件却名为College的学校，如：Dartmouth College in New Hampshire，有硕士、博士和医学博士之学位，而且又是美国最好的四年制大学之一。 属于University的学院。
二年制大学：有的称为junior college，有的称为community college，也有的就叫college，还有几个是technical college。
Millions of Americans will celebrate Christmas on December twenty-fifth. It is the most widely celebrated religious holiday in the United States.
People buy gifts to give to family members and friends. They fill homes and stores with evergreen1 trees and bright, colored lights. They go to parties and prepare special Christmas food. Many people think Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.
Many Christians go to church the night before the holiday or on Christmas Day. They celebrate Christmas as the birthday of Jesus Christ. Christian2 ministers3 speak about the need for peace and understanding in the world. This is the spiritual4 message of Christmas. Church services include traditional religious songs for the holiday. One of the most popular is "Silent Night."
Many other Americans celebrate Christmas as an important, but non-religious holiday. To all, however, it is a special day of family, food, and exchanging gifts.
Christmas is probably the most special day of the year for children. One thing that makes it special is the popular tradition of Santa Claus5.
Young children believe that Santa Claus is a fat, kind, old man in a red suit with white fur. They believe that-on the night before Christmas-he travels through the air in a sleigh6 pulled by reindeer7. He enters each house from the top by sliding down the hole in the fireplace8. He leaves gifts for the children under the Christmas tree.
Americans spend a lot of time and money buying Christmas presents. The average American family spends about 800 dollars. Stores and shopping centers are crowded at this time of year. More than 20% of goods sold during the year are sold during the weeks before Christmas. This is good for stores and for the American economy.
Some people object to spending all this money. They say it is not the real meaning of Christmas. So, they celebrate in other ways. For example, they make Christmas presents, instead of buying them. Or they volunteer to help serve meals to people who have no homes. Or they give money to organizations that help poor people in the United States and around the world.
Home and family are the center of the Christmas holiday. For many people, the most enjoyable tradition is buying a Christmas tree and decorating9 it with lights and beautiful objects. On Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, people gather around the tree to open their presents.
Another important Christmas tradition involves food. Families prepare many kinds of holiday foods, especially sweets. They eat these foods on the night before Christmas and on Christmas day.
For many people, Christmas means traveling long distances to be with their families. Another Christmas tradition is to go "caroling10."A group of people walk along the street. At each house, they stop and sing a Christmas song, called carol. Student groups also sing carols at schools and shopping centers.
Not everyone in the United States celebrates Christmas. Members of the Jewish11 and Muslim12 religions, for example, generally do not. Yet many Americans do take part in some of the traditional performances of the season. One of the most popular is a story told in dance: "The Nutcracker13" ballet14. The music was written by Russian composer15 Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky in 1891.
The ballet is about a young girl named Clara. Clara is celebrating Christmas with her family and friends. One of her Christmas presents is a little device16 to open nuts-a nutcracker. It is shaped like a toy soldier. She dreams that the nutcracker comes to life as a good-looking prince.
Professional17 dance groups in many American cities perform the ballet at this time of year. They often use students from local ballet schools to dance the part of Clara and the other children in the story. This gives parents a chance to see their children perform.
1. After you.你先请。这是一句很常用的客套话，在进/出门,上车得场合你都可以表现一下。 (好象现在女士不愿意你这么做，特别是那些女权主义者，我还记得这么一段话：一个女士对一个让她先行的男士说：you do this because i am a woman?那个男士回答说：i do this not because you are a woman but because i am a man! i love this guy!
2. I just couldn't help it.我就是忍不住。想想看，这样一个漂亮的句子可用于多少个场合?下面是随意举的一个例子： I was deeply moved太棒的句子了，我爱死它了。
3. Don't take it to heart. 别往心里去，别为此而忧虑伤神。生活实例： This test isn't that important. Don't take it to heart. 安慰人的超级句子。
4. We'd better be off.我们该走了。It's getting late. We'd better be off.
5. Let's face it. 面对现实吧。常表明说话人不愿意逃避困难的现状。参考例句：I know it's a difficult situation. Let's face it, OK? 很棒啊，年轻人犯错误，上帝都会原谅，remember?但是犯了错误，你必须面对他，let's face it,或者是：let's face the music.
6. Let's get started.咱们开始干吧。劝导别人时说：Don't just talk. Let's get started.
let's get started.
let's do it right now.
let's hit sth.
let's rock & roll.
let's put our hands on sth.
7. I'm really dead.我真要累死了。坦诚自己的感受时说：After all that work, I’m really dead.
8. I've done my best.我已尽力了。
这句话，很有用，失败有时难免，但是你要是可以说，i've done my best. or i spare no efforts.就不必遗憾，毕竟，man supposes, god disposes.
9. Is that so?真是那样吗?常用在一个人听了一件事后表示惊讶、怀疑。
10. Don't play games with me!别跟我耍花招!
11. I don't know for sure.我不确切知道。
Stranger： Could you tell me how to get to the town hall?
Tom: I don't know for sure. Maybe you could ask the policeman over there.
12. I'm not going to kid you.我不是跟你开玩笑的。
Karin： You quit the job? You are kidding.
Jack: I'm not going to kid you. I'm serious.
13. That's something. 太好了，太棒了。
A: I'm granted a full scholarship for this semester.
B: Congratulations. That's something.
by the film and I cried and cried. I just couldn't help it.
14. Brilliant idea!这主意真棒!这主意真高明!
15. Do you really mean it? 此话当真?
Michael：Whenever you are short of money, just come to me.
David: Do you really mean it?
16. You are a great help.你帮了大忙
17. I couldn't be more sure. 我再也肯定不过。
18. I am behind you.我支持你。
A: Whatever decision you're going to make, I am behind you.
19. I'm broke.我身无分文。
i am penniless.
20. Mind you!请注意!听着!(也可仅用Mind。)
模范例句：Mind you! He's a very nice fellow though bad-tempered.
21. You can count on it.你尽管相信好了，尽管放心。
A：Do you think he will come to my birthday party?
B: You can count on it.
22. I never liked it anyway.我一直不太喜欢这东西。当朋友或同事不小心摔坏你的东西时就可以用上这句话给他一个台阶，打破尴尬局面：Oh, don't worry. I'm thinking of buying a new one. I never liked it anyway.
23. That depends.看情况再说。 (on sth)
例：I may go to the airport to meet her. But that depends.
25. Thanks anyway.无论如何我还是得谢谢你。当别人尽力要帮助你却没帮成时，你就可以用这个短语表示谢意。
26. It's a deal.一言为定
Harry： Haven't seen you for ages. Let's have a get-together next week.
Jenny: It's a deal
电影里经常听到，it's a deal, that is a good deal.或是两个人打算达成某个协议或是做成某个生意会说：deal? deal!