Nationality for intermediate learners

On this page, you learn all the grammatical details of how to talk about one's nationality and different ways to talk about nationality.

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Talking about "Nationality" in English

What is Nationality?

Nationality refers to the country or nation that a person belongs to or identifies with. It is often based on factors such as citizenship, place of birth, ancestry, and cultural heritage.

How to Ask about Nationality

There are different ways of asking about people’s nationalities. Let’s take a look at some common ways of doing this:

  • Where are you from?
  • Where do you come from?

Answering Questions about Nationality

We can answer questions about nationality with 'I’m from...' or 'I come from…' or we can simply say the nationality. Here are some examples:

I am from Australia.

Be verbs + from + country

I’m Australian.

Be verbs + nationality

I come from Australia.

Come from + country

We can also use nationalities as nouns or adjectives. For example:

I'm a Korean.

There is 'a' before nationality so it is a noun.

I am Korean.

There is no 'a' before the nationality and it follows a linking verb; therefore, it is an adjective.

Do you like Korean movies?

Here Korean is an adjective, modifying the noun 'movies'.

Tip!

We can use nationalities in singular or plural forms. Let’s take a look at some examples:

I’m Chinese.

singular form

The Chinese are here.

Plural forms

Countries and Nationalities

Here is a list of different countries and their corresponding nationalities. Take a look at the examples:

Countries Nationalities
Japan Japanese
Canada Canadian
Spain Spanish
New Zealand New Zealander
Mexico Mexican
Iraq Iraqi

Some nationalities are made by adding (ese, ian, -ish,...) to the name of the country. But some nationalities are different. For example:

Denmark → Danish

Netherlands → Dutch

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