Nationalities in Spanish

Learn about nationalities in Spanish

Definition

Nationalities in Spanish are linked to the gender and number of the people you are talking about. Grammatically speaking, we can categorise the production of nationalities in four groups: ending in o, ending in e and i, ending in consonant and special cases. 

How to expess nationalities in Spanish

1 Nationalities which the singular masculine ends in -o

These are the most common ones. 

Examples:
Country Singular masculine Singular feminine Plural masculine Plural feminine
México mexicano mexicana mexicanos mexicanas
China chino china chinos chinas
Nigeria nigeriano nigeriana nigerianos nigerianas
Italia italiano italiana italianos italianas
Australia australiano australiana australianos australianas

 

2 Nationalities which the singular masculine ends in -e or -i

In this case, the masculines and feminines share the same ending.

Examples:
Country Singular masculine Singular feminine Plural masculine Plural feminine
Canadá canadiense canadiense candienses canadienses
Estados Unidos estadounidense* estadounidenses estadounidenses estadounidenses
Israel israelí israelí israelíes israelíes
Costa Rica costarricense costarricense costarricenses costarricenses
Marruecos (Morocco) marroquí marroquí marroquíes marroquíes

*You can also say americano instead of estadounidense, however nowadays we favour the use of estadounidense because America is the continent and Estados Unidos is the country. 

 

3 Nationalities which the singular masculine ends in consonant

Important difference: In this case, the plural masculine will end in -es

Examples:
Country Singular masculine Singular feminine Plural masculine Plural feminine
Francia francés francesa franceses francesas
Escocia (Scotland) escocés escocesa escoceses escocesas
Japón japonés japonesa japoneses japonesas
España español española españoles españolas
Los Países Bajos (Netherlands) holandés holandesa holandeses holandesas

 

4 Special cases

Some nationalities have -a as an ending, regardless of the gender.

Examples:
Country Singular masculine Singular feminine Plural masculine Plural feminine
Bélgica (Belgium) belga belga belgas belgas
Chipre (Cyprus) chipriota chipriota chipriotas chipriotas
Vietnam vietnamita vietnamita vietnamitas vietnamitas
Croacia croata croata croatas croatas
Kenia keniata keniata keniatas keniatas