Nationalities differ depending on whether you're a man or a woman (adjectives)

Here's how to ask people their nationality:

(informal)

Quelle est ta nationalité ?
What is your nationality?

(formal)

Quelle est votre nationalité ?
What is your nationality?

Look at these examples:

JULIEN:

Je suis français.
I am French.

MARIE:

Je suis française.
I am French.

Note that the word for the nationality changes whether the person is masculine (français) or feminine (française).

Note also that nationalities used as adjectives (as opposed to nouns, see * below) never start with a capital letter in French, unlike English.

Usually, they take an -e in the feminine form.

Je suis anglais.
I am English.

Je suis anglaise.
I am English.

 

Nationalities in -ian in English often become -ien in French:

Je suis italien.
I am Italian.

Je suis canadien.
I am Canadian.(male)

Je suis indien.
I'm Indian. (male)

Je suis australien.
I'm Australian.

For these nationalities ending in -ien, the feminine will be -ienne.

Je suis italienne.
I am Italian.

Je suis canadienne.
I am Canadian.

Je suis indienne.
I'm Indian.

Je suis australienne.
I'm Australian.

See also Forming the feminine of nouns and adjectives ending in -ien, -ion, -on

 

* Nationalities: adjectives versus nouns 

Nationalities used as adjectives are NOT capitalised, whereas they are capitalised when used as nouns:

Ma petite amie est canadienne.
My girlfriend is Canadian.

Je connais un Canadien qui vit de l'autre côté de la rue.
I know a Canadian who lives across the street.

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Quelle est ta nationalité ?
What is your nationality?


Je suis française.
I am French.


Je suis anglaise.
I am English.


Je suis indien.
I'm Indian. (male)


Je suis australienne.
I'm Australian.


Je suis australien.
I'm Australian.


Je suis canadien.
I am Canadian.(male)


Je suis italien.
I am Italian.


Je suis anglais.
I am English.


Je suis indienne.
I'm Indian.



Je suis français.
I am French.


Quelle est votre nationalité ?
What is your nationality?


Je suis canadienne.
I am Canadian.


Je suis italienne.
I am Italian.


Q&A Forum 17 questions, 24 answers

"C'est un Anglais". Is it correct to use capital 'a' in this sentence?

Asked 5 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Joan,

‘ C’est un Anglais’ means, ‘He is an English man‘ (person from that country) which has a capital letter.

If you said ‘Il est anglais’,  it wouldn’t as it would be the adjective ‘English’ , which in French doesn’t have a capital letter.

A bit confusing I know...

Hope this helps!

Merci beaucoup

"C'est un Anglais". Is it correct to use capital 'a' in this sentence?

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It is correct?

Je suis algerienne

Asked 6 months ago
ChrisC1Correct answer

Je suis algérienne is correct (as long as you come from Algeria, that is;)

It is correct?

Je suis algerienne

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OluA1

I just saw the word "vit" used for "lives" in one of the examples sighted above. What is the difference between "vit" and "habite"?

Asked 9 months ago
SteveB2

Olu,

Here's a good explanation:

https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/habiter-vs-vivre/.

I just saw the word "vit" used for "lives" in one of the examples sighted above. What is the difference between "vit" and "habite"?

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JLA0

Pourquoi dans français les noms des payés n’est pas capitale

Asked 9 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi JL ,

This lesson is about nationalities, how to say where you come from , these don't have capital letters in French but countries do -

Je suis française , mon pays est la France.

Je suis espagnole, mon pays est l'Espagne

etc...

Hope this helps!

Pourquoi dans français les noms des payés n’est pas capitale

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I could not tell the gender of alexa

Asked 10 months ago
And what's your question?
If i cannot tell if Alexa is male or female I can't determine if I need to use masculine or femine articles.

Alexa is a female name. It is the female form of Alexander and short for Alexandra. You can google this.

And if you don't know the case then you have to take a guess. What else is there to do?

I could not tell the gender of alexa

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ton ou ta

Quelle est ton nationalite ou quelle est ta nationalite?

ton pour M et ta pour F. c'est correct

 

Asked 11 months ago
ChrisC1Correct answer

No, that would not be correct. The noun "la nationalité" is female. Therefore any pronoun referring to it must be female as well.

Pierre, quelle est ta nationalité?

Marie, quelle est ta nationalité?

Merci

ton ou ta

Quelle est ton nationalite ou quelle est ta nationalite?

ton pour M et ta pour F. c'est correct

 

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All of your examples are in the singular. How do you pluralize nationalities?

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1Correct answer

Anne est française.

Anne et Marie sont françaises.

Jean est hongrois.

Jean et Jacques sont hongrois.

So you see, the "national" adjectives behave just like normal adjectives. 

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

All of your examples are in the singular. How do you pluralize nationalities?

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AmyA0

Does "dit" mean says?

Asked 2 years ago
Yes. 3rd. person conjugated form of "dire" (to say) in present tense

Does "dit" mean says?

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JMB2

La liaison?

The audio clips don't have a clear pattern when it comes to making a liaison between "suis" and the nationalities beginning with a vowel. It this an optional liaison? What would you recommend?
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour JM ! In this case, it's generally considered more elegant to do the liaison, but a lot of French people don't and it's not shocking not to do so. I would recommend to do it, if only because it makes it easier to pronounce certain cases for non-French people, such as "Je suis italien" (the double i-i might be tricky!). À bientôt !

La liaison?

The audio clips don't have a clear pattern when it comes to making a liaison between "suis" and the nationalities beginning with a vowel. It this an optional liaison? What would you recommend?

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AurélieKwiziq language super star

A. asked: Can nationalities be capitalised in French or do they take lower cases?

How to use nationalities as 'proper nouns' and as an 'adjectives'.
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star

Bonjour A.,

That's a very interesting question! 
Yes, nationalities CAN be capitalised in French, when they are used as "proper nouns" rather than "adjectives".

For example, when you qualifying something as "French" (food, person, city...), then you're using the adjective, therefore it starts with a lower case:
Le vin français est bon.
Marie est française.

But when you're talking about a Frenchman, or the Frenchwoman (or an Englishman, ...), then you're using a noun (introduced by a/the/this...), and it starts with a capital letter:
Je connais un Français. (Frenchman)    versus     Je connais un homme français. (French man)
Les Anglais sont très polis.

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

 

 

A. asked: Can nationalities be capitalised in French or do they take lower cases?

How to use nationalities as 'proper nouns' and as an 'adjectives'.

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je suis nigerian{ne}

Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Hilary ! A man would be "nigérian", and a woman "nigériane" with one "n". À bientôt !

je suis nigerian{ne}

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Je suis indienne.

Est ce - que je suis correct
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Oui, tu es correcte Advika: Bravo ! Moi je suis française :) À bientôt !

Je suis indienne.

Est ce - que je suis correct

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Je suis américain.

Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Jose - Très bien ! Je suis américaine aussi.

Je suis américain.

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Je suis canadienne.

Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Bonjour Ca!

The rules differ between English and French (of course they do lol!):

- in English: nationalities all take capital letters, either used as adjectives (This is an English rug) or as nouns (There are two Frenchmen here).

- in French: you won't use a capital letter when using nationalities as adjectives (C'est un tapis anglais), but you will when used as nouns (Il y a deux Français ici).

I hope that's helpful!
Bonne journée !

 

 

 

AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Jo-Anne ! Moi je suis française mais j'habite en Angleterre. Et toi, où habites-tu ?
CaA0
May I ask, is nationality and some noun need to use Capital Letter and what about in French? Is nationality and name of some places not a need here? 
CaA0
I mean in English. 

Je suis canadienne.

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Je suis anglaise.

Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Megan ! Tu es anglaise ? Super ! Et où habites-tu en Angleterre ?

Je suis anglaise.

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Where can I find more nationalities written in french apart from those mentioned in this lesson?

Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq language super star
Bonjour JoonAh, This is a pretty good list: http://frenchetc.org/2011/05/09/countriesnationalitiesandadjectives/

Where can I find more nationalities written in french apart from those mentioned in this lesson?

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How do I say Je Suisse Welsh ?

I am Welsh and come from Wales
Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Jeff, I'm Welsh = Je suis gallois.

How do I say Je Suisse Welsh ?

I am Welsh and come from Wales

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