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Nationalities in Spanish

11 Aug, 2017 Popular Articles
Nationalities in Spanish3 votes. 4.83 / 5

In this lesson, we will learn how to say names of different nationalities in Spanish. Most of Spanish words related to countries or nationalities are very similar to its English equivalent. For example, Americano is the word for a male person from America or the United States.

Nationalities in Spanish

  • Most Spanish nationality adjectives have four forms: masculine singular, feminine singular, masculine plural, and feminine plural. This also means that you have to change the word depending on the gender and number of person or people you are referring to. 

See also: Gender of nouns in Spanish

For example:

Mi abuela es mexicana - My grandmother is Mexican

Mis abuelos son mexicanos - My grandfathers are Mexican

Mis abuelas son mexicanas - My grandmothers are Mexican

  • In Spanish, the words for nationalities can be used as adjectives or nouns.  

For example:

Yo quiero un café americano - I want an American coffee

Él es americano - He is an American

  • Unlike in English, nationalities are not capitalized in Spanish

See also: Capitalization rules in Spanish

Nationalities in Spanish that end in a vowel

Nationalities ending in -o

Nationalities ending in -o have four forms as above. Below you will find some quick rules used to turn the masculine singular form into other forms:

  • To make the masculine plural form: add -s to the end of the masculine singular form
  • To make the feminine singular form: change -o in the masculine singular form to -a
  • To make feminine plural form: add -s to the end of the feminine singular form

For example:

Americano - Americanos - Americana - Americanas

Nationalities ending in -e or an accented vowel

Nationalities ending in -e or an accented vowel only have two forms. And their masculine and feminine singular forms are the same.

To make the singular form become plural:

  • For words that end in -e or é: Add -s to the end of the singular form
  • For words that end in an accented vowel: Add -s to the singular form
 Masculine Singular FormMasculine Plural FormFeminine Singular FormFeminine Plural Form
Americanamericanoamericanosamericanaamericanas
Canadiancanadiensecanadiensescanadiensecanadienses
Italianitalianoitalianositalianaitalianas
Mexicanmexicanomexicanosmexicanamexicanas
Argentineanargentinoargentinosargentinaargentinas
Iraqiiraquíiraquíesiraquíiraquíes
Moroccanmarroquímarroquíesmarroquímarroquíes
Uruguayanuruguayouruguayosuruguayauruguayas
Costa Ricancostarricensecostarricensescostarricensecostarricenses
Chinesechinochinoschinachinas

Nationalities ending in a consonant

These words also have four forms.

  • To make the feminine singular form: 

Add -a to the end of the masculine singular form
Remove written accent over the vowel (if any)

  • To make the masculine singular form:

Add -es to the masculine singular form
Remove written accent over the vowel (if any)

  • To make the feminine plural form:

Add -s to the feminine singular form

For example:

Los cantantes son españoles - The singers are Spanish 

Las cantantes son españolas - The singers are Spanish

 Masculine Singular FormMasculine Plural FormFeminine Singular FormFeminine Plural Form
Danishdanésdanesesdanesadanesas
Frenchfrancésfrancesesfrancesafrancesas
Germanalemánalemanesalemanaalemanas
Japanesejaponésjaponesesjaponesajaponesas
Spanishespañolespañolesespañolaespañolas
Thaitailandéstailandesestailandesatailandesas
Finnishfinlandésfinlandesesfinlandesafinlandesas
Irishirlandésirlandesesirlandesairlandesas

Check out the video below to know how to pronounce these words

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