In English, nationalities have adjective forms, usually related to the noun form: England/English, France/French, China/Chinese, Saudi Arabia/Saudi Arabian, United Arab Emirates/Emirati. While it might seem easier, do not just add a noun after the name of the country, such as “England people” “France food” “China culture.”

When referring to a country or a geographic region, you can use:

  • the name of the country or region: Thailand, Rwanda, Chad, the Middle East
  • a singular noun that we use for a person from the country or region: a Canadian, a German, an Asian
  • the plural expression the ______ is used for all people from a country or region: the Chinese, the Ugandans, the Hungarians, the Midwesterners
  • an adjective: Thai, Rwandan, Chinese, Middle Eastern

The name of a national language is often, but not always, the same as the national adjective. In this case, the words are nouns and may be modified by adjectives. We don’t use the or the word language

  • Thai, German, Chinese

Be careful – while there are general patterns to the adjectives and nouns for place and language, there are many exceptions. Always be sure to double-check any vocabulary of this kind that you are not sure of using a resource like Espresso English’s exhaustive list.