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If I am right, in 'an English phrase' 'English' is an adjectival form while in 'a phrase in English', 'English' is a nominal form.

Should I say 'An English overview of this topic' or 'An overview in English of this topic' ?

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An overview of this topic in English sounds more natural. – 200_success Sep 11 '14 at 3:31
Yes, indeed, it sounds even clearer than 'an overview in English of this topic'. – Brice C. Sep 11 '14 at 5:38
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Eng·lish (adj.)
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of England or its people or culture.
2. Of or relating to the English language.

The word English has more than one definition, so I might assume those two sentences don't necessarily have the same meaning.

An overview in English of this topic

That plainly means the overview is presented in English.

An English overview of this topic

That could mean the overview is presented from a British perspective, related to England's people and culture. I might expect to see a dash of localised humour, for example.

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This answers suits me quite well. Thanks. – Brice C. Jul 2 '14 at 9:09
One more thing : English is also a noun, according to the Oxford dictionay. 1 the West Germanic language of England, now widely used in many varieties throughout the world. – Brice C. Jul 2 '14 at 9:14
@Brice - Yes, my pasted definition here is abridged. A more complete definition can be found using the provided link. – J.R. Jul 2 '14 at 11:53

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