A1 Level. Nationalities in Spanish

Updated: Jul 23


Nationalities in Spanish are often talked about using nationality adjectives, which are adjectives that describe the country a person or thing is from. Most nationality adjectives in Spanish have four forms: masculine singular, feminine singular, masculine plural, and feminine plural, though some just have two forms (singular and plural).

When an adjective of nationality ends in a consonant, -a is added to form the feminine.

A majority of nationalities end in -o. The feminine form for nationalities ending in -o is made by changing the -o to an -a. For example, the word mexicano, for a person from Mexico, changes to mexicana when referencing a female.

A Few Nationalities Do Not Change with Gender

There are some nationalities that do not change form with gender.


Nationalities that have irregular endings, such as -ense, as in the word costarricense, used for Costa Rican, do not have a separate masculine or feminine form. The word remains the same when describing either gender.


The same can be said for nationalities that end in -a. These do not change, such as croata for "Croatian," or belga for "Belgian."


Nationalities Can Be Nouns or Adjectives

Unlike in the English language, Spanish Gentiles begin with lowercase. In addition, the words for nationalities can be used in Spanish as either adjectives or nouns. An example of the adjective form is "I want a French coffee" or "Yo quiero un café francés." An example of the noun form is "He is an Italian" or "Él es italiano."


Related Grammar Rules

Plural nouns and adjectives for nationalities follow the regular rules for plurals., typically by adding an -s or -es.

The names of most countries as well as provinces, states, and regions is masculine. The main exceptions are those whose names end in an unstressed -a, such as Francia, Argentina, and Gran Bretaña. Canadá, which ends in a stressed , is masculine.


A few country names, the biggest of them being la India, can't stand alone and need the definite article. For some countries, such as (los) Estados Unidos, the definite article is optional.


List of Nations and Nationalities

Alemania (Germany) — alemán Argentina — argentino Australia — australiano Austria — austriaco Bélgica (Belgium) — belga Belice (Belize) — beliceño Bolivia — boliviano Brasil — brasileño Canadá — canadiense Chile — chileno China — chino Colombia — colombiano Corea del Norte (North Korea) — nortecoreano, norcoreano Corea del Sur (South Korea) — sudcoreano Costa Rica — costarricense, costarriqueño (uncommon) Cuba — cubano Croata (Croatia) — croata Dinamarca (Denmark) — dané Ecuador — ecuatoriano Egipto (Egypt) — egipcio El Salvador — salvadoreño Escocia (Scotland) — escocés España (Spain) — español Estados Unidos (United States) — estadounidense, norteamericano, americano Filipinas (Philippines) — filipino Francia (France)— francés Gales (Wales) — galés Gran Bretaña (Great Britain) — británico Grecia (Greece) — griego Guatemala — guatemalteco Haití — haitiano Honduras — hondureño Hungría — húngaro la India — indio, hindú Inglaterra (England) — inglés Irak, Iraq — irakí, iraquí Irán — iraní Irlanda (Ireland) — irlandés Israel — israelí Italia (Italy) — italiano Japón (Japan) — japonés Marruecos (Morocco) — marroquí (Moro is sometimes used but can be considered offensive.) México, Méjico — mexicano, mejicano (the first spelling is used in Mexico, while usage varies elsewhere) Myanmar/Birlandia (Myanmar/Burma) — myanma/birmano Nicaragua — nicaragüense Noruega (Norway) — noruego Nueva Zelanda (New Zealand) — neozelandés Países Bajos (Netherlands) — holandés Palestina (Palestine) — palestino Panamá — panameño Paraguay — paraguayo Perú — peruano Polonia (Poland) — polaco Portugal — portugués Puerto Rico — puertorriqueño la República Dominicana (Dominican Republic) — dominicano Rusia — ruso Sudáfrica (South Africa) — sudafricano Suecia (Sweden) — sueco Suiza (Switzerland) — suizo Taiwan — taiwanés Uruguay — uruguayo Venezuela — venezolano

Let's practice.


Quiz Activity No 1. Noun and Nationality

Given a noun and nationality, rewrite both words so that the nationality matches the gender and number of the noun.

1. camisa - colombiano _____________________________ 2. fuegos artificiales - chino __________________________ 3. queso - suizo ____________________________ 4. piñas - filipino ____________________________ 5. computadora - chino ____________________________ 6. bailes - peruano ____________________________ 7. libros - japonés ____________________________ 8. plátanos - boliviano ____________________________ 9. vestidos - hindú ____________________________ 10. vino - argentino ____________________________


Quiz and Listening Activity No 2. Nationalities

In this video Juan is asking people about their nationality. Watch the video a couple of times, search words you do not know in a dictionary and, finally, do the exercises below. Remember you can contact your tutor if you have any questions.


1. Judith es de Francia. Ella es _______________. Ella tiene un amigo de Austria. El amigo de Judith es______________.

2. Dimitris viene de Grecias y es_____________. Henri su amigo viene de Dinamarca y es___________.

3. Matteo viene de Italia es____________.

4. Rita es de Francia, ella es _____________. Sus padres son de __________ y ___________respectivamente. La pareja de Rita es ________________ al igual que ella. Los padres del novio de Rita son de diferentes países. Su padre es de__________ y su mamá ____________.


Audiovisual comprehension to practice oral and written expression. No. 3: "¿De dónde eres?".


This resource includes a  great practice for give and ask information relating Origin - ¿De dónde eres?, ¿de qué país eres? / Soy de Francia, soy francés Quantity -¿Cuántos idiomas hablas? / Hablo tres idiomas… Polite request  - Por favor. - Un momento, por favor.   We hope you find it very useful.This resource includes a comprehension activity in Spanish for students to complete after  watching  the story, as well as an activity to reinforce greetings vocabulary and writing with the verbs "ser, hablar and entender" Available in our store. Remember you can contact your tutor with any question have. Don’t you have a Spanish tutor yet? Please, leave a message if you want we prepare more activities about this topic. Thanks for helping us to improve.


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Español Latino Team.

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