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Practice with the exercises:
Exercise 1

1. Nationalities

Words indicating nationality or belonging to a particular geographical territory are constructed from the place name the corresponding continent, region or country.

2. Nationalities in English

When we want to refer to a person's nationality or the origin of something, we usually use an adjective, formed by adding a suffix to the name of the country, region, continent... The most common suffixes are: -an, -ese, -ish, -ch or -i.

  • Adjectives related to the continents:
    They are from Asia. They are Asian.
    They are from America. They are American.
    They are from Europe. They are European.
    They are from Africa. They are African.
  • Adjetivos relacionados con países:

  • When we want to refer to the origin of something, we use the same adjective that applies to a person.
    I love Chinese food.
    My father is drinking an Irish coffee.
  • When we want to mention the inhabitants of a country we usually use the adjective of nationality followed by person, man, woman..., if we refer to only one person; or people, men, women..., if we refer to more than one.
    A Japanese man has broken the world record.
    Two Japanese people were robbed yesterday while they were sightseeing.
  • When we want to refer to a group of people of a certain nationality, we use either the article the before the nationality, or the nationality followed by the word people. When the suffix is -an, among others, the article can be omitted. They may also be followed by the word people.
    The Chinese / Chinese people have a totally different culture.
    (The) Germans / German people tend to have a strong character.
  • There are certain countries that have a specific word for their inhabitants:
    COUNTRY ADJECTIVE INHABITANT
    Britain British A Briton
    Denmark Danish A Dane
    Finland Finnish A Finn
    Poland Polish A Pole
    Spain Spanish A Spaniard
    Sweden Swedish A Swede
    Turkey Turkish A Turk
    The new manager is a Danish person / Dane.
    We share our flat with a Spaniard / Spanish person.
    In English, nationalities are always written in capital letters.
    You can see more examples on this subject by consulting this list.

Remember!

Words indicating nationality or belonging to a particular geographical territory are constructed from the proper noun of the corresponding continent, region or country.
COUNTRY ADJECTIVE NOUN
Britain British A Briton
Cuba Cuban A Cuban
Denmark Danish A Dane
Finland Finnish A Finn
France French A Frenchman
Germany German A German
Holland Dutch A Dutchman
Japan Japanese A Japanese
Spain Spanish A Spaniard
Sweden Swedish A Swede
Turkey Turkish A Turk

 

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