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 TurkThe 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.