Posts Tagged ‘nationalities’

Nouns referring to countries and their people

November 3rd, 2011 in Improve English

To refer to a nation and its people, we need to know four words:

1. The name of the country

Examples: France, Germany, India, Europe, Asia

2. The adjective used to refer to that country

Examples: French, German, Indian, European, Asian

3. The singular noun used for a person from the country

Examples: a Frenchman / woman, a German, an Indian, a European, an Asian

4. The plural expression used for the population as a whole

Examples: the French, the Germans, the Indians, the Europeans, the Asians


All words of this kind begin with a capital letter.

British history (NOT british history)

The name of the national language is often the same as the adjective used to refer to that nation.

French is easy to learn.

Can you speak Chinese?

Usually the noun used to refer to a person from the country is the same as the adjective used to refer to that country. Examples are: Indian, Chinese, Japanese etc.

Some common examples are given below.

Country Adjective Person Population
America American An American The Americans
Brazil Brazilian A Brazilian The Brazilians
Europe European A European The Europeans
Italy Italian An Italian The Italians
Norway Norwegian A Norwegian The Norwegians
Greece Greek A Greek The Greek
China Chinese A Chinese The Chinese
Japan Japanese A Japanese The Japanese