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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    nationality

    when someone asks: what's your nationality?

    Is is possiable to say: I'm chinese or I'm a chinese, what's the difference?

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    #2

    Re: nationality

    Yes, it gets confusing. My ancestors are Irish and I have lived in America my entire life.

    What is your cultural heritage?
    I am Irish

    What is your nationality?
    I am an American

  2. Offroad's Avatar
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    #3

    Smile Re: nationality

    I usually say:

    I am Brazilian. or
    I am a Brazilian man.


  3. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: nationality

    Quote Originally Posted by emica21 View Post
    When someone asks: "What's your nationality?" is is possible to say: "I'm Chinese" or "I'm a Chinese."? What's the difference?
    Interesting question!

    Both are correct, but "I'm Chinese" is preferred. "I'm a Chinese" is short for "I'm a Chinese person."

    This is an odd one, because some nationalities start with a, and some don't. We often say "a Mexican," "a Greek," "a German," "an American," we always say "a Swede" or "Swedish," but we never say "an English," "a French," "an Irish," "a Dutch."

    No one knows why!

    =O.

    [I edit copy and have tutored college writing.]

  4. Offroad's Avatar
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    #5

    Smile Re: nationality

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Interesting question!

    This is an odd one, because some nationalities start with a, and some don't. We often say "a Mexican," "a Greek," "a German," "an American," we always say "a Swede" or "Swedish," but we never say "an English," "a French," "an Irish," "a Dutch."
    I am an Englishman.
    she is a French woman.

    Does it sound awkward? in my opinion, it doesn't.

    Thanks

  5. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: nationality

    Quote Originally Posted by marciobarbalho View Post
    I am an Englishman.
    she is a French woman.

    Does it sound awkward? in my opinion, it doesn't.

    Thanks
    Nope. That sounds great. Much better than an English or a French.

  6. Offroad's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: nationality

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Nope. That sounds great. Much better than an English or a French.
    so, what did you say that?

    Either is possible:

    I am English.
    I am an Englishman.

    She is French.
    She is a French lady.

  7. stuartnz's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: nationality

    Mine is one of those nationalities Charlie mentioned that always take the indefinite article in the singular. I am a New Zealander. Informally, I could say either "'m Kiwi" or "I'm a Kiwi". The use of "Kiwi"as the primary choice for designating nationality seems to be on the rise amongst citizens of Aotearoa. Four million people all saving three syllables soon adds up.

  8. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: nationality

    Quote Originally Posted by marciobarbalho View Post
    so, what did you say that?

    Either is possible:

    I am English.
    I am an Englishman.

    She is French.
    She is a French lady.
    Yup.

    I am English: good.
    I am an Englishman: good
    I am an English: bad

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