If I am talking about a song in English by a musician who is not English, can I use these sentences interchangeably to mean the song is in English?

His new song is English.

It is an English song.

His new song is in English.

I know the third one can be used, but how about the first two? The second one doesn’t sound that bad to me even though I think it could be wrong. I feel like there could be a stronger possibility the first sentence, “His new song is English”, is the one that is wrong if you mean the language by “English,” because that structure doesn’t sound very familiar to me.

  • We say something is in a language for a song or book.
    – Lambie
    Mar 12, 2021 at 20:35

1 Answer 1


His new song is English.

His new song is from England. (What?)

His new song is an English song.

His new song is written in English, and by the way, it's a song. (Did you know it's a song?)

His new song is in English.

His new song is written in English. (Much better.)

  • Thanks. So what I get is, we can use a language name right before the product name like in “It is an English song” or “It is an English book” to mean it is in English even if it is not from England or not by an English person; but we can’t say sentences like “This book is English”, “This movie is English” to mean they are “in English.” May 27, 2020 at 22:15
  • 1
    @FireandIce, no. "It is an English song/book" means it's from England, i.e. by an English author/artist living in England at the time of composition. This implies that it is written in English, but it doesn't have to be. If "it is a song in English", it is certainly written in English, but the author could live anywhere and may not be from England. May 28, 2020 at 1:07
  • So, you think if a song in English is by an American artist, we can't call it "an English song"? I feel like people might do that. May 28, 2020 at 1:11
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    @FireandIce You can call it Jambi the Genie if you want, but to leave no room for ambiguity you should say, "An American song [sung/written] in English". May 28, 2020 at 1:15
  • Okay. I will call it that. :) May 28, 2020 at 10:02

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