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  1. #11
    Anonymous Guest

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    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.....?

  2. #12
    Anonymous Guest

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    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?

  3. #13
    Anonymous Guest

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    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....


    Oh yes and one more thing, if we say, "I'm a .....................Help! Wait a minute.... :grab:

  4. #14
    gwendolinest Guest

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    See this: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Chinese

    Chinese

    A native or inhabitant of China.
    “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”.

    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”!

    ()

  5. #15
    Red5 is offline Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
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    I'm going to duck out of this now, and leave it to the teachers and experts.
    Red5
    Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com

  6. #16
    gwendolinest Guest

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    Sorry, I think I got a bit carried away there in my excitement.

    ()

  7. #17
    Anonymous Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by gwendolinest
    See this: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Chinese

    Chinese

    A native or inhabitant of China.
    “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”.

    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 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.

    :) 8)

  8. #18
    ExK Guest

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    I'm getting very confused ...

    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?


  9. #19
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    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.

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    I think you English is good.

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