My English is a bit rusty.

arueng

Senior Member
CHINESE
My English is a bit rusty.


Hi,
Is the above idiomatic? Is it the same to say the following? Thanks.

I'm a bit rusty on English.
My English is a bit broke.
 
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The first one is correct and colloquial. That's what I suggest you say.

    The second one works if you change the preposition to "in." However, it's not as colloquial.

    The third is an error. First, it should be "broken." More importantly, one's command of a language is not, to an English speaker, something that can break.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    The third is an error. First, it should be "broken." More importantly, one's command of a language is not, to an English speaker, something that can break.
    Arueng, I think I see where you might have gone wrong. We do have the term "broken English" but that doesn't mean "broken" as with an automobile or a pane of glass.

    It just means that the speaker isn't very good at speaking English.

    You might review this previous thread: "Broken English"
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    When I hear "My X is rusty" I think that, at one time in the past, it was not rusty and it worked well. Thus this would say to me "I used to speak good English but now I have lost a lot of that ability". I can say "My Japanese is rusty" because I haven't used in much in the last ten years.

    Nevertheless, people will understand that your English is not great today - the key meaning you want to convey.
     
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