the English

Michael30000

Senior Member
Russian
Hello everyone,

The situation is as follows: in a country where English soldiers are stationed one man says to another: "You can't hide. The English will find you."
By "the English" he means English soldiers (not the specific ones).
Is it correct to say "the English" in this context?

Thank you.
 
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    By "the English" he means English soldiers (not the specific ones).
    :confused:

    We need more details, much better context! You did not provide essential context, just vagueries. What country and at what time/century? What is the source?
    The problem is, why would these soldiers be described as 'English', not 'British'.
    We could go back centuries, maybe a thousand years +, if we want to talk about 'the English army' and 'English' fighters.
     
    Last edited:

    Michael30000

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thank you, Uncle Jack.
    Thank you, Hermione.

    And more details: the country is India and the time is the late 19th century.
    And I used "English soldiers" to stress that those soldiers were specifically from England and not, for example, from Scotland or Ireland.
     
    Last edited:

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    For me, the problem of confusion is not so much between English and British, but whether there are also English people who aren't soldiers in the country. India in the late 19th century had numerous British people living there, only some of whom were soldiers. If you just say 'the English', unless you make it clear elsewhere you are only referring to soldiers, it will be taken to mean the entire English (or British) population.

    I am sure Hermione knows very well we only need to go back to 1603 to use English without worrying about whether it should be British. The Welsh won't like it, but that cannot be helped.
     
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