Is it ok to say:

"I had a test in English today"

Or should I say:

"I had an English test today"


I think I actually have seen it expressed like "in English" but I just read it wasn't correct.


"A test in English" is ambiguous - it could mean a test in any subject which is conducted in English (as opposed to some other language) or a test whose subject is English. An English test simply means a test whose subject is English.

  • 3
    The potential ambiguity (such as it is) would only normally apply to learners. For native Anglophones, all tests would normally be conducted using the English language, so the only reason for saying in English would be to identify the subject of the test. Sep 6 '18 at 17:00
  • 2
    @FumbleFingers You make a strong point there.
    – Lambie
    Sep 6 '18 at 17:04
  • 1
    I think there's still further potential for confusion. When I was at school we could have a test in English, or a test in Biology, or Physics - you were naming the 'class' not the language. Sep 6 '18 at 17:23
  • 1
    My answer addresses that source of confusion (ambiguity) - a test conducted in English vs. a test whose subject (class, topic) is English. Sep 6 '18 at 17:26
  • 1
    Also it is non-standard to capitalise the names of school subjects. Sep 6 '18 at 19:13

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