If someone said “I’m a Chinese” to me, I'd be inclined to ask them "Chinese what?". I see it the same way as if someone said "I'm a English." <<<<<
I have to agree with that.
I believe we are talking here about what is "technically and grammatically" correct as opposed to "how English is used and how it makes sense to us".
I am a Chinese.....?
In that particular instance, using "a Chinese" alone doesn't sound natural, just as using "an English" alone in the same type of sentence doesn't sound natural. I think this is because "Chinese" and "English" can be seen as being nationalities/groups of people and also languages.
By the same token, if someone were to say "I am a Venezuelan.", it would sound better. Or "I am an American."
It depends on what the specific sentence is.
Does everyone know what I mean?
To note an apparent oddity where this question is concerned:
He is a Spanish. - incorrect
He is Spanish. - correct
He is a Spaniard. - correct
It seems that other nationalities don't have a word like "Spaniard" in English.
1. I'm a Norwegian. - correct and it sounds "natural".
2. I'm a Chinese. - correct, but does it sound "natural"?
In light of sentence number 1, I can see Gwen's point about "He is a Chinese." quite clearly, yet at the same time, it just doesn't sound "natural" to me. It seems to be a rather odd inconsistency that I had never noticed before.
What about this one? - I'm a French. - I can't say it sounds quite right, yet "I'm a German." sounds fine to me.
"I'm a Swedish." Neither can I say this one sounds right. But this one, "I'm a Russian." sounds fine.
I'd have to say, though, that typically we would not use the indefinite article in this type of sentence.
Interesting inconsistencies we have here. mm....
:idea: :shock: :idea: :shock: Oh yes and one more thing, if we say, "I'm a .....................Help! Wait a minute.... :grab:
See this: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Chinese
“English” and “Spanish” are different. “English” doesn’t mean a native or inhabitant of England (though “the English” refers to the English people collectively). Similarly for “Spanish”.
A native or inhabitant of China.
You can look up the entries in www.dictionary.com yourselves.
So, you can say “I’m a Chinese”, but not “I’m an English” or “I’m a Spanish”!
I'm going to duck out of this now, and leave it to the teachers and experts. ;-)
Sorry, I think I got a bit carried away there in my excitement.
Originally Posted by gwendolinest
I see. I saw the definition. So the "word" Chinese with regards to it being the name of a nationality is different than other names of nationalities. I did not know that.
:shock: :) 8)
I'm getting very confused :oops: ...
I've heard in movies "I'm an American!" ...
would you question "you are an american what?" ???
chinese is both a race and a nationality ... should both "I'm chinese" and "I'm a chinese" be acceptable?
You do hear 'Chinese' with numbers: three Chinese came into the room. there used to be the word'Chinaman', but I haven't seen it in a long time. Some nationalities have a special word for the individual, like Swede for a Swedish person or Dane for someone from Denmark. :lol:
I think you English is good.
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