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    #1

    Question The French speak French.

    Why do we use "the" when talking about French people but we add an "s" to others?
    Can we say "French prople" without using "the"?



    The French speak French.
    Germans speak German.
    Iranians speak Persian.
    Americans speak English.

    Are there othere other examples like "the French" in which we should use the definite article "the"?

  1. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The French speak French.

    Some nationality words have the same form for the adjective and the noun; With such words we can say:

    Heinz is a German citizen;
    Heinz is German.
    Heinz is a German
    Germans are friendly.
    The Germans are friendly'

    Examples of this type are American, Australian, Canadian, Russian.


    Other nationality words have a different form for the noun and the adjective. With such words we say:

    Peter is a Danish citizen.
    He is Danish
    He is a Dane
    Danes are friendly.
    The Danes are friendly.
    The Danish are friendly.

    Examples of this type are Swedish/Swede, Finnish/Finn, Polish/Pole.


    The is no universally recognised noun for some nationalities.With such words we can say only.

    Piscean is a British citizen.
    He is British.
    The British are friendly.

    Examples of this type are French, Welsh, Irish.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 15-Oct-2016 at 11:53.

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    #3

    Re: The French speak French.

    Descriptive nouns used to exist for some nationalities that lack them today. They were formed by tacking on the suffix -man: Frenchman, Englishman, etc. These words fell out of use as unacceptably gender-exclusive.

    I've often used the word Briton for a person from Great Britain. Has it also fallen out of use?
    I am not a teacher.

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The French speak French.

    Quote Originally Posted by Venus.jam View Post
    Are there othere other examples like "the French" in which we should use the definite article "the"?
    The Chinese are friendly.
    Matthew is Chinese.
    Matthew is a Chinese chap.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: The French speak French.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I've often used the word Briton for a person from Great Britain. Has it also fallen out of use?
    You'll see it in newspaper headlines, but most of us don't use it of ourselves.

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    #6

    Re: The French speak French.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I've often used the word Briton for a person from Great Britain. Has it also fallen out of use?
    It's not used much, but don't worry about using it. Brit is probably more common.

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