Italian, French, Norwegian, Dutch:
adjectives of nationality for European countries.
In a previous lesson we looked at some Asian
country names and their corresponding nationality adjectives (Malaysian, Vietnamese, Bangladeshi:
adjectives of nationality for Asian countries). In this week's
lesson we look at some nationality adjectives from European countries.
European nationality adjectives are a little more
complicated than Asian. However, in this lesson we will see that
European nationality adjectives can also be grouped into patterns.
Pattern One: '-an' nationalities
Please look at the following list of country and nationality words. The
red vowel (or, in some cases, 'y') in each word is to show which
syllable is stressed:
POINTS TO NOTICE:
European countries whose names end with "-a" form their adjectives with
"-an." This is also true of countries in other continents: Nigeria -
Nigerian, Bolivia - Bolivian, Australia - Australian.
careful with the last three on the above list: Hungary - Hungarian,
Italy - Italian, Norway - Norwegian. These three involve changes in
spelling and pronunciation.
A SPECIAL POINT TO REMEMBER
We can use adjectives of nationality when we talk about a country's
products, culture, history etc:
just bought some nice Austrian cheese from
- Bulgarian yoghurt is famous all over the world.
- Have you
ever read any Russian novels?
when we talk about people, we have a choice of using an adjective or a
- Is Karl
- No. I
think he's Austrian (ADJECTIVE).
- Is Karl
- No. I
think he's an Austrian (NOUN).
'-an' nationality words, the adjective and noun have the same form
(Austrian / an Austrian). With other nationality words, the adjectives
and nouns often have different forms:
not English, are you?
- No. I'm
- He isn't
an Englishman, is he?
- No. I
think he's a Pole (NOUN).
next two sections, I will list both the ADJECTIVES of
nationality and the NOUNS of nationality.
Pattern Two: '-ish' nationality adjectives
- a Briton (*See note below)
- an Englishman /
- a Irishman / Irishwoman
- a Scotsman / Scotswoman
- a Dane
- a Finn
- a Pole
- a Turk
- a Swede
- a Spaniard
POINTS TO NOTE:
- Many European nationality
adjectives end with '-ish.' With '-ish' nationality adjectives, the
nationality noun is usually different in form. We can't, for example,
a Danish; we have to say He's Danish
or He's a Dane.
- The word Briton is rare in conversation. It
tends to be found mostly in newspaper reports e.g. "Three Britons were
injured in the crash." In conversation, "Hello, I'm a Briton" would
sound a little odd.
Pattern Three: Nationality Adjective and
Nationality Noun are the same
- The Czech
- a Greek
- a Cypriot
- a Swiss
- a Czech
- a Portuguese
- a Maltese
Pattern Four: Nationality Adjective and
Nationality Noun are different
- The Netherlands
- a Dutchman/woman
- a Welshman/woman
- an Icelander
ONE FINAL POINT TO REMEMBER
Sometimes Japanese students get confused about the word Dutch.
This is because it sounds like the Japanese word Doitsu. So,
- In English, Doitsu is
Germany; Doitsu no is German.
- In English, Dutch is Oranda
We hope you found this week's
lesson useful. There are plenty of other lessons on this website, so
please click here to find them.
© Robert E. Jones, 2004