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  1. Junior Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Mar 2015
    • Posts: 84

    The + a nationality

    I was wondering if you could clarify a confusion of mine.
    I believe that we use 'the' with nationalities which end in 'ch';'ish' and 'ese' because they are adjectives.
    Would be the following sentences correct from grammatical point of view?
    'Heaven is where the police are the English,
    the cooks are Italian,
    the mechanics are German,
    the lovers are the French,
    and everything is organized by the Irish.'

    Or should I loose 'the'? And if so, why?
    It's just doesn't sound good with 'the' to me. Am I wrong?

    Thank you in advance

  2. Key Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 3,595

    Re: The + a nationality

    Yes, lose the 'the'. If you use 'the', then you're using the words as nouns, not adjectives. (However, in the last line you need to use the noun the Irish.)

    I think the reason we don't use a plural -s with nationalities ending in -ch/-ish/-ese is that it would require an extra syllable to pronounce, which would be a little awkward.

    • The Belgians/Greeks/Iraqis (these sound fine and similar to the root adjective form)
    • The Irishes/Dutches/Chineses (these sound awkward and removed from the adjective form)
    Last edited by jutfrank; 07-May-2016 at 21:55.

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