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  1. #1
    sebayanpendam is offline Member
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    introduce one's race

    Hi,
    Should there be an article 'a' with a race?

    e.g.
    I'm a Chinese or I'm Chinese.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: introduce one's race

    Quote Originally Posted by sebayanpendam View Post
    Hi,
    Should there be an article 'a' with a race?

    e.g.
    I'm a Chinese or I'm Chinese.

    Thanks
    No article is necessary.

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
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    Re: introduce one's race

    We normally talk of our own and other's nationality, not their race. About the only time I ever refer to myself as 'Caucasian', is when, in talking about people's reactions to seeing my colleagues and me for the first time when we worked in China, I say "We were the only Caucasians within five hundred miles of the town".

    I normally say, depending on the situation, "I am English" or "I am British". I never say, "I'm an Englishman" or "I'm a Briton". Of a Chinese or Japanese colleague, I would only ever say say "S/he is Chinese/Japanese", with no article.

  4. #4
    sebayanpendam is offline Member
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    Re: introduce one's race

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    We normally talk of our own and other's nationality, not their race. About the only time I ever refer to myself as 'Caucasian', is when, in talking about people's reactions to seeing my colleagues and me for the first time when we worked in China, I say "We were the only Caucasians within five hundred miles of the town".

    I normally say, depending on the situation, "I am English" or "I am British". I never say, "I'm an Englishman" or "I'm a Briton". Of a Chinese or Japanese colleague, I would only ever say say "S/he is Chinese/Japanese", with no article.

    Hi,
    Therefore, an article 'a' as in she is a chinese is redundant, right? In my country, people would ask our race because we are too diverse in racial composition. Even when filling forms, there is an item which asks us to write our race.

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: introduce one's race

    We have to fill in ethnicity on many forms too- there are over 200 languages spoken in London and we're a diverse society. We don't ask people directly about this, but we could ask about nationality. And we generally don't use the indefinite article.

  6. #6
    sebayanpendam is offline Member
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    Re: introduce one's race

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    We have to fill in ethnicity on many forms too- there are over 200 languages spoken in London and we're a diverse society. We don't ask people directly about this, but we could ask about nationality. And we generally don't use the indefinite article.
    I see the difference between The West and Southeast Asia culturally now.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: introduce one's race

    There are many cultural differences- I find it weird to be asked how much money I make, a question I have never asked my brothers. That's what makes the world so interesting.

  8. #8
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Re: introduce one's race

    Who is asking you that? Unless it's on a job interview or with the tax man, it's a "none of your business" question for sure.

  9. #9
    sebayanpendam is offline Member
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    Re: introduce one's race

    Yes, I agree. I have been asked many times about my race because many think that I am Chinese, which I am not, like, 'Are you Chinese?' Or 'Is any of you parent Chinese?'

    But then again, to learn a language is to learn its culture too.

  10. #10
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    Re: introduce one's race

    Quote Originally Posted by sebayanpendam View Post
    Yes, I agree. I have been asked many times about my race because many think that I am Chinese
    They are almost certainly asking if you are from China, or are of of Chinese origin, not what your race is. If people ask you this question, then it is pretty clear what race you are.

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