Nationalities in Spanish

Overview

Nationality adjectives in Spanish usually have four forms: one each for singular, plural, masculine, and feminine. A few just have two forms (singular and plural). Let's learn how to form the different types of nationality adjectives in Spanish!

Unlike in English, in Spanish nationalities are not capitalized.

Juan es un chico francés.
Juan is a French boy.
 
Anita es una chica francesa.
Anita is a French girl.
 
Juan y Anita son alumnos franceses.
Juan and Anita are French students.
 
Anita y Celia son alumnas francesas.
Anita and Celia are French students.
 

While the endings may look a bit confusing at first, the rules for forming nationality adjectives are actually pretty straightforward.

Nationalities that End in a Vowel

Nationalities that End in an -o

Nationalities that end in an -o have four forms.

  • Change the -o to an -a to make the singular feminine form.
  • Add an -s to make either singular form plural.
Mi abuelo es mexicano.
My grandfather is Mexican.
 
Mi abuela es mexicana.
My grandmother is Mexican.
 
Mis abuelos son mexicanos.
My grandfathers are Mexican.
 
Mis abuelas son mexicanas.
My grandmothers are Mexican.
 

Nationalities that End in an -e or an Accented Vowel

Nationalities that end in an -e or an accented vowel have two forms.

  • The masculine and feminine singular forms are the same.
  • For adjectives that end in -e or , add an -s to the singular form to make the plural form.
  • For adjectives that end in -á, -í, -ó, or , add an -es to the singular form to make the plural form.
Melissa es costarricense.
Melissa is Costa Rican.
 
Ellos son costarricenses.
They are Costa Rican.
 
Soy estadounidense.
I'm American.
 
Mis hijas son estadounidenses.
My daughters are American.
 
Samuel es iraquí.
Samuel is Iraqi.
 
Los chicos son iraquíes.
The boys are Iraqi.
 

List of Common Nationalities that End in a Vowel

EnglishMasculine SingularMasculine PluralFeminine SingularFeminine Plural
American
americano
 
americanos
 
americana
 
americanas
 
Argentinian
argentino
 
argentinos
 
argentina
 
argentinas
 
Bolivian
boliviano
 
bolivianos
 
boliviana
 
bolivianas
 
Canadian
canadiense
 
canadienses
 
canadiense
 
canadienses
 
Costa Rican
costarricense
 
costarricenses
 
costarricense
 
costarricenses
 
Honduran
hondureño
 
hondureños
 
hondureña
 
hondureñas
 
Iraqi
iraquí
 
iraquíes
 
iraquí
 
iraquíes
 
Italian
italiano
 
italianos
 
italiana
 
italianas
 
Mexican
mexicano
 
mexicanos
 
mexicana
 
mexicanas
 
Moroccan
marroquí
 
marroquíes
 
marroquí
 
marroquíes
 
Nicaraguan
nicaragüense
 
nicaragüenses
 
nicaragüense
 
nicaragüenses
 
Cuban
cubano
 
cubanos
 
cubana
 
cubanas
 
Uruguayan
uruguayo
 
uruguayos
 
uruguaya
 
uruguayas
 

In English, American may refer to people from North, Central, and South America, though it's most commonly used to refer to someone from the United States. In Spanish, it's more common for the word americano to be used to refer to anything or anyone from North, Central, and South America. If you want to make it very clear that you're talking about someone or something from the United States, use the nationality adjective estadounidense .

List of Common Nationalities that End in a Consonant

Nationalities that end in a consonant have four forms.

  • To make the feminine singular form, add an -a to the end of the masculine singular form and remove the written accent over the vowel if it has one.
Él es alemán.
He is German.
 
Ella es alemana.
She is German.
 
Él es japonés.
He is Japanese.
 
Ella es japonesa.
She is Japanese.
 
Él es español.
He is Spanish.
 
Ella es española.
She is Spanish.
 
  • To make the masculine plural form, add -es to the masculine singular form and remove the written accent over the vowel if there is one.
  • To make the feminine plural form, add -as to the masculine singular form and remove the written accent over the vowel if there is one.
Él es danés.
He is Danish.
 
Ellos son daneses.
They are Danish.
 
Ellas son danesas.
They are Danish.
 
Él es español.
He is Spanish.
 
Ellos son españoles.
They are Spanish.
 
Ellas son españolas.
They are Spanish.
 

List of Common Nationalities that End in a Consonant

EnglishMasculine SingularMasculine PluralFeminine SingularFeminine Plural
German
alemán
 
alemanes
 
alemana
 
alemanas
 
Danish
danés
 
daneses
 
danesa
 
danesas
 
Spanish
español
 
españoles
 
española
 
españolas
 
Finnish
finlandés
 
finlandeses
 
finlandesa
 
finlandesas
 
French
francés
 
franceses
 
francesa
 
francesas
 
Irish
irlandés
 
irlandeses
 
irlandesa
 
irlandesas
 
Japanese
japonés
 
japoneses
 
japonesa
 
japonesas
 
Lebanese
libanés
 
libaneses
 
libanesa
 
libanesas
 
Thai
tailandés
 
tailandeses
 
tailandesa
 
tailandesas
 

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