A court vs. a trial

B1- B1 B2 C1

WRONG: The criminal had a court in 2016.
RIGHT: The criminal had a trial in 2016.

The word ‘court’ means a few things in English. It is the place where some ball sports are played – tennis court, squash court, basketball court, and it is also an old-fashioned word meaning ‘to date’ someone – my mum might say ‘Oh, are John and Suzy courting now?’

It is also the place where the judge or jury decides if a criminal is guilty or not guilty of a crime.

What it is not is the actual proceedings against the criminal. That is called a court case or a trial.

So whereas in Czech it may be okay to say, ‘The criminal had a court in 2016’, in English it is wrong. You need to say ‘The criminal had a trial in 2016’ or ‘The criminal had a court case in 2016.’