English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Which of the two statements is correct?

He was an English-born businessman.

He was an England-born businessman.

The same confusion arises in India-born and Indian-born as well. Moreover, is a hyphen necessary in these examples?

share|improve this question
up vote 6 down vote accepted

"England-born" is perfectly understandable, but I don't think a native English speaker would say it. "English-born" is a conventional expression.

The question about hyphens has no single answer: it depends whose style guide you are following.

share|improve this answer
Thanks @Colin. Reg. the style-guide, is there any other question on this forum that talks about that? – Bravo Mar 17 '12 at 20:33
This question discusses that and provides a link to what I consider to be some good advice in that regard. – Jim Mar 17 '12 at 21:00
@Shyam: In this specific case I think it would be an unusual style guide that suggested writing "English born" as two separate words. It's nearly always hyphenated. Sometimes just written as a single word with no hyphen - but that's even less common than the two-word form. – FumbleFingers Mar 17 '12 at 21:45

They mean two different things. "English-born" means born with English nationality. "England-born" means born in England. Neither implies the other.

And "England-born" would probably be more commonly phrased "Born in England".

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.