Turn to English, change to English, switch to English

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cheerfulscience

Senior Member
Turkish
Hi. Imagine three people, two though knowing English having been talking in, say, French and the third one not speaking it comes up to them and joins the conversation. Now, the conversation turns to English. Which of the following would be correct and idiomatic to describe the conversation's change to English?

1- we had been speaking French then he turned up and we turned to English

2- we had been speaking French then he turned up and we switched to English

3- we had been speaking French then he turned up and we changed to English

There might be better ways to describe this but I wonder whether these three specific words are applicable and appropriate.

Thanks
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi cheerfulscience

    I'd use either "changed" or "switched"; I wouldn't use "turned."
     

    cheerfulscience

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Hi cheerfulscience

    I'd use either "changed" or "switched"; I wouldn't use "turned."
    Thank you. Just out of curiosity, is it because to turn sounds unacceptably incorrect to the point of outright falsity or because turn just seems weird in this use, though still acceptable?
     

    AnythingGoes

    Senior Member
    English - USA (Midwest/Appalachia)
    Just out of curiosity, is it because to turn sounds unacceptably incorrect to the point of outright falsity or because turn just seems weird in this use, though still acceptable?
    It just isn't idiomatic, so it sounds weird. You would probably be understood.
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    To 'turn to' English could mean that you changed the topic of the conversation, and began talking about English - the language or the school subject. You could be conversing in French and talking about English.
     
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