Common Mistakes With Difficult Nationalities

You probably learned that in English to talk about a person from a certain country, you simple add an “-an” or “-ian” to the end of the name of the nation, for example:

  • American
  • Italian
  • Brazilian
  • Mexican
  • Egyptian

Although this is usually the rule, like everything in English, there are many exceptions!

So check out this short video and the transcript to make sure you never make mistakes with peoples’ nationalities again!

[leadplayer_vid id=”534FF79348D6A”]


Aww yeah RealLifers, what’s going on?

This is Ethan, with a special one minute video for you.

Alright, so, today I’m going to talk to you about difficult nationalities.

Is this RealLife?

So, a lot of my students tend to get confused, because there are some very easy nationalities, where you just add an “ian” or “en” sound at the end. For example, American, Canadian, Australian.

But there are a lot of other nationalities that are more difficult, and by nationality I mean when you talk about a person that is from that country.

Alright, so, for example, someone from Spain is Spanish, but when you talk about them you say a Spaniard. And then let me give you some other examples that are like this, where the person who is from that country is completely different than the adjective used to describe something or someone from that country.

So, some other difficult ones are someone from Sweden is Swedish, but they a Swede. Someone from Switzerland is Swiss, and you also call them a Swiss.

nationalities in englishSomeone from France is French, but you call someone from there a Frenchman or a Frenchwoman. And similar to this is someone from England is English, and an Englishman or an Englishwoman.

Someone from Croatia is a Croat. Someone from Poland is a Pole. Someone from New Zealand, this is even confusing for me, is a New Zealander.

And then, the last example is someone from Thailand is Thai, or they are a Thai.

Alright guys, I hope this clears up some confusion that you might have with different nationalities and people from different countries.

Alright. Go out there and put this to use.

Have a good one! Later.

For a full list of nationality names in English, click here

  • Rahmatullo says:

    Hello. This was useful for me, thank you very much.

    • Thomas Muller says:

      Hey Rahmatullo! Great to hear! Thanks for learning with us!