I'm not a native english speaker so maybe I'm just overthinking and it depends on the context. I collect books in spanish and english, what I'm trying to say is "this is my collection of books in english".

I wanted to use:

My english collection

But somehow it feels like I'm saying "books written in England". Consider that it's a very informal conversation.

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    You should start the word 'English' with a capital E. I have books in French, Italian, and Spanish, and I would happily talk of my 'Italian collection' provided the reader or listener already knew that the context was my books. Mar 25, 2021 at 15:08
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    "My collection of books in English" seems fine.
    – KillingTime
    Mar 25, 2021 at 15:09
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    @César - you did it again. My English collection. Mar 25, 2021 at 15:20
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    @MichaelHarvey My English collection is really cool. \o/
    – César
    Mar 25, 2021 at 15:22
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    It's ambiguous and is dependent on context, but such expressions are commonly used. Just like it's not always obvious if an English teacher is a teacher of English or a teacher who is English, English books and English book collection are ambiguous and depend on context.
    – Stuart F
    Mar 25, 2021 at 15:34

2 Answers 2


You could say "my English book collection" or even "my English collection". But "my English collection" might not make a lot of sense to people who don't know you're talking about books, and the term "English book" is ambiguous because it could refer either to books written in English or to books by English authors. Even "my English-language book collection" is ambiguous because it might be taken to mean a collection of books about the English language.

Also, if your collection is kept together on one shelf, you could call it "my English book shelf" or (if someone knows from context that you're discussing books) "my English shelf" - or "shelves" if there is more than one shelf occupied. Of course, "English book" still has some ambiguity, although most people would probably interpret it correctly.

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    Thanks! Yes, the context is implicit because the people I talk to are all book enthusiasts.
    – César
    Mar 26, 2021 at 14:32

If you want to be certain that there is no ambiguity, I think you’d want to call it something like: “my collection of books written in English.”

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