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- country names
BACKGROUND AND READINGS
Learn more about
NEW VOCABULARY DEFINITIONS
Click on the specific flag to see country text at the bottom of the image
- country names, nationalities and languages in Asia
- country names, nationalities and languages in Europe
- country names, nationalities and languages in North and Central America and the Caribbean
- country names, nationalities and languages in Latin America
- country names, nationalities and languages in Africa
- country names, nationalities and languages in the Middle East
- country names, nationalities and languages in Oceania
by Sherlock Holmes
- We use a capital letter when we refer to a country (e.g., the United States), a nationality (e.g., American), a language (e.g., English) and a region (e.g., North America).
- A singular noun is used when referring to a person from the country or region: an Indonesian, a Japanese, a German, a Colombian, an Asian.
- the plural expression the … is used for the whole population of a country (e.g., the Germans) or region (e.g., Latin Americans).
- The name of a national language is commonly the same as the national adjective (e.g., Spanish).
- The singular noun is normally the same as the adjective (e.g. German), and the plural expression is the same as the adjective + -s (e.g., the Germans).
- The definite article (the) is required before the names of some countries–especially those with a ‘common noun’ (e.g., federation, islands, kingdom, republic) in the name. For example:
– the Bahamas (‘islands’ implicit);
– the Cayman Islands;
– the Central African Republic;
– the Channel Islands;
– the Comoros;
– the Czech Republic;
– the Dominican Republic;
– the Falkland Islands;
– the Gambia;
– the Maldives (islands implicit);
– the Marshall Islands;
– the Netherlands;
– the Russian Federation (but Russia);
– the Philippines (islands implicit);
– the Solomon Islands;
– the Turks and Caicos Islands;
– the United Arab Emirates;
– the United Kingdom;
– the United States;
– the Virgin Islands
- The short form of British, Brit, is often used as a noun in journalistic style and in informal situations to refer to the British people.
- The noun Briton only to refer to the ancient tribes that lived in Britain.
- Great Britain includes England, Wales and Scotland.
- the United Kingdom includes England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
- Scots is an adjective and appears in compounds such as Scotsman.
The adjective Scotch is used to refers to food and drink from Scotland (e.g., Scotch whisky).
- We use Arabic for the language spoken in Arab countries; the normal adjective is Arab (e.g., the Arab World, the Arab Press). We use Arabian in a few fixed expressions and place names (e.g., Arabian Nights is a famous film; the Arabian Sea).
- An Aussie is slang for a person from Australia.
- A person from Denmark is called a Dane.
- The people from the Netherlands are called the Dutch.
- A person from England is also called an Englishman/Englishwoman.
- A person from Finland is also called a Finn.
- A person from Ireland is also called an Irishman/Irishwoman.
- A Kiwi is slang for a person from New Zealand.
- A person from Poland is also called a Pole.
- A person from Scotland is also called a Scot.
- A person from Spain is also called a Spaniard.
- A person from Sweden is also called a Swede.
- A person from Turkey is also called a Turk.
- A person from Wales is also called a Welshman/Welshwoman.
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