Where are you from?

In this article, we are going to learn how to talk in French about this topic of paramount importance. To achieve this aim, we have included the following aspects:

  • a definition of nationality
  • some rules to write nationalities in French
  • vocabulary about continents
  • European countries and nationalities
  • Countries from the rest of the world
  • an exercise to practice the writing of nationalities in feminine and masculine

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What is the definition of the term “nationality”?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, nationality is “the state of belonging to a particular country or being a citizen of a particular nation.” Usually you have the nationality of the country you were born which makes you a legal citizen of that particular place. There are three ways of acquiring a nationality: by birth, by descent from a State’s national or by naturalization.

Continents

The land surface of the planet is usually divided into seven regions or continents. However, there are other divisions that classify the land areas of the Earth into six, five and four continents.

Continent ENContinent FRAdjective (masculin-feminin)
AfricaL'AfriqueAfricain, Africaine
AsiaL’AsieAsiatique
North AmericaL’Amérique du NordNord-Américain, Nord-Américaine
South America
L’Amérique du SudSud-Américain, Sud-Américaine
AntarcticaL’AntarctiqueAntarctique
EuropeL’EuropeEuropéen,Européenne
Oceania / Australia L’Australie / L’Océanieaustralien, australienne / océanien, océanienne / (océanique = relatif à l’océan)

Some Rules To Write Nationalities in French

#1 Capitalize nationalities only when they are nouns, never when used as adjectives.

Example: Alice est autrichienne.  
BUT: Je connais une Autrichienne.

#2 Nationality adjectives are written with an e when they are feminine.

Example: Martin est écossais. Glennis est écossaise.

#3 If the nationality adjective is written with an e in its masculine form, the feminine form does not change.

Example: François est belge. Cécile est belge.

#4 Some feminine adjectives are written in a particular way.

Example: Socrate était grec. Maria Callas était grecque.

European Nationalities

Check the nationalities of some of the countries from the European continent:

CountryPaysNationalité (masculin-feminin)
EnglandL’Angleterreanglais, anglaise
ScotlandL'Écosseécossais, écossaise
NorwayLa Norvègenorvégien, norvégienne
EstoniaL’Estonieestonien, estonienne
GermanyL’Allemagneallemand, allemande
SpainL’Espagneespagnol, espagnole
BelgiumLa Belgiquebelge
GreeceLa Grècegrec, grecque
ItalyItalieitalien, italienne
FranceLa Francefrançais, française
The Netherlands /
Holland
Les Pays Bas /
La Hollande
néerlandais, néerlandaise /
hollandais, hollandaise
SwitzerlandLa Suissesuisse
BulgariaLa Bulgariebulgare
HungaryLa Hongriehongrois, hongroise
RomaniaLa Roumanieroumain, roumaine
RussiaLa Russierusse
Czech Republic
La Tchéquie
tchèque
SerbiaLa Serbieserbe
TurkeyLa Turquieturc, turque
KosovoLe Kosovokosovar, kosovare
SloveniaLa Slovénieslovène

Nationalities From Other countries

Check the nationalities from other countries in the world:

CountryPaysNationalité (masculin-feminin)
SenegalSénégalsénégalais, sénégalaise
GuineaGuinéeguinéen, guinéenne
AlgeriaL'Algériealgérien, algérienne
JaponLe Japonjaponais, japonaise
ChinaLa Chinechinois, chinoise
The PhilippinesLes Philippinesphilippin, philippine
SingaporeLe Singapoursingapourien, singapourienne
New ZealandLa Nouvelle-Zélandenéo-zélandais, néo-zélandaise
TuvaluTuvalutuvalais, tuvalaise
CanadaLe Canadacanadien, canadienne
MexicoLe Mexiquemexicain, mexicaine
GuatemalaLe Guatemalaguatémaltèque
ColombiaLa Colombiecolombien, colombienne
PeruLe Péroupéruvien, péruvienne
ArgentinaL'Argentineargentin, argentine

Let’s Practice

Complete the following list by writing the missing nationalities.

PaysNationalité (masculin)Nationalité
(féminin)
Le Brésilbrésilien
L'Égypteégyptienne
L’Irlandeirlandais
La Polognepolonaise
Le Danemarkdanois
Le Cubacubain
La Coréecoréen
L’Indeindienne

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