Is "to be a better one" in the following sentence grammatical?

I need to train my English to be a better one

  • 3
    To be a better one what? Maybe you wanted to say, "I need to enhance my English to be better" - I need to make my English better in order to be better. English is always capitalized in English. And the word train doesn't really fit here, you cannon train English. And better one doesn't point to anything. Apr 27, 2017 at 7:04

2 Answers 2


On the face of it, no, this is not grammatical. Unless English refers to something like your English setter or your English sheepdog!

"Your English" is not a countable noun, not a single item, but a set of related skills and ideas, so you would not refer to it in the singular.

The grammatical form of this sentence would probably be more like "I need to train to improve my English".


English used like this is not a singular countable noun. It's a singular non-countable noun. So you can't use one to refer to it.

I need to train my English to be better.


I need to train my cats to be better.

But you can use ones to refer to plural countable nouns.

I need to train my cats to be better behaved ones.

  • Additionally, you can't train English. To train something you must be able to train it in its entirety. You can train your dog to sit and you can train your ear to discern octave changes but you cannot train the Atlantic Ocean to do anything. Same with English.
    – EllieK
    May 23, 2017 at 12:56
  • "I need to practice my English [good place for a noun here to more finely indicate what it is you need to practice...pronunciation, grammar, prepositions?] in order to be better understood."
    – EllieK
    May 23, 2017 at 13:03
  • You can train your English, just not the English.
    – LawrenceC
    May 23, 2017 at 13:03
  • I'm not so sure that my English can be trained. What would it be trained to do? Something is trained to do something else and you can't train English, yours or mine, to do anything. Can I train my English to evoke feelings of joy and comfort? I can train my "pen" to do that. I can train my "voice" to do that. English, not so much.
    – EllieK
    May 23, 2017 at 13:12
  • Then why can you say My English is not so good? It doesn't seem unreasonable to interpret the word "English" as shorthand for "skill/usage of English."
    – LawrenceC
    May 23, 2017 at 13:26

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