[Vocabulary] Romans, Arabs, Spanish, ......

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jiaruchan

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The Romans, Arabs, Spanish, French and British all tried to claim Malta in history because of its strategic position.

--------My question is whether the part 'Spanish, French and British' are properly used, because I have learned words like Spaniards and Britons and think they should replace Spanish and British. Am I right?

Thank you.
 

emsr2d2

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The Romans, Arabs, Spanish, French and British all tried to claim Malta in history because of its strategic position.

--------My question is whether the part 'Spanish, French and British' are properly used, because I have learned words like Spaniards and Britons and think they should replace Spanish and British. Am I right?

Thank you.

I would say that "Spanish, French and British" are all fine because they are actual nationalities, whereas "Roman" and "Arab" are adjectives, not nationalities.
 

Raymott

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I would say that "Spanish, French and British" are all fine because they are actual nationalities, whereas "Roman" and "Arab" are adjectives, not nationalities.
On the other hand, historically, the Romans and the Arabs may have been as much a "nation" as any, though not in modern form.
Rome was a republic, then an empire. I'm less familiar with Arab history.
I think it sounds OK.
 

BobK

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:up: 'Spaniard' and 'Briton' are individuals; So here 'The Spanish, the British...' are right.

'The Spanish sent the Armada to invade Britain.'
but
'When Sir Francis Drake was told that the Spaniards were coming, he...' [is said by some, in a story that doesn't entirely convince me, to have] '...finished his game of bowls.'

You could also use 'Spanish' in the second sentence, but as '-ard' endings tend to be pejorative (like 'coward', 'bastard' and other less current words like 'dullard' and 'Lollard') I think the '-ard' version captures the spirit of the (Elizabethan) times better.

b
 
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