Follow and Draw
English is often used with a combination of follow and draw, meaning that you are hitting the ball to the left or right of the vertical axis, and above or below the horizontal axis. For example, you might be striking the ball to the left of the vertical axis but also slightly above the horizontal axis, which would be considered high left English. Be careful not to strike the ball too far from center when first learning this technique. This could cause a miscue.
There are six positions in using English:
Center left English
Center right English
High left English
High right English
Low left English
Low right English
Degrees of follow and draw — how high or low you strike the cue ball — determine how much top- or backspin you will give it.
How effective your use of English will be depends on how far left or right of center you strike, and the speed at which you hit the ball. The speed directly affects how far off the aiming point the ball will actually go. Striking the cue ball to the left or right of center is referred to as hitting the ball “off line,” meaning the ball winds up a little off the spot at which you aim.