English native speaker or native English speaker?

  • dn88

    Senior Member
    I prefer "native English speaker".

    Why? If we assume that English speaker = speaker of English, and we would normally say "native speaker of English", then if we replaced the red part with "English speaker", "native English speaker" is what we would get.

    I've seen and heard both forms though.


    Senior Member
    British English
    I would like to know which of the following expressions is correct: "English native speaker" or "native English speaker"?
    I agree with the others, here is my reasoning:

    "Native English speaker" = a person whose mother tongue is English, regardless of whether s/he is from the UK, the USA, Australia or any other English speaking country.

    "English native speaker" = an English person (i.e. born in England) who is a native speaker.

    I put forward this idea because (to my ears) in the first example, "English" qualifies "speaker" whereas in the second "English" qualifies "native"