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Quick answer
"Estadounidense" is an adjective which is often translated as "American", and "norteamericano" is an adjective which is often translated as "North American". Learn more about the difference between "estadounidense" and "norteamericano" below.
estadounidense(
ehs
-
tah
-
doo
-
nee
-
dehn
-
seh
)
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (of the United States)
a. American
La industria del cine estadounidense es la más grande del mundo.The American film industry is the biggest in the world.
b. U.S.
La fuerza naval estadounidense tiene una base en Bahréin.The U.S. Navy has a base in Bahrain.
This means that the noun can be masculine or feminine, depending on the gender of person it refers to (e.g. el doctor, la doctora).
2. (nationality)
a. American
Conozco a muchos estadounidenses hispanohablantes.I know many Spanish-speaking Americans.
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norteamericano(
nohr
-
teh
-
ah
-
meh
-
ree
-
kah
-
noh
)
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (of North American origin)
a. North American
Los mohicanos y los comanches eran tribus norteamericanas.The Mohicans and the Comanches were North American tribes.
2. (of United States origin)
a. American
El presidente norteamericano Barack Obama visitará Cuba en marzo.The American president Barack Obama will visit Cuba in March.
This means that the noun can be masculine or feminine, depending on the gender of person it refers to (e.g. el doctor, la doctora).
3. (native or inhabitant of North America)
a. North American
Solamente porque es un norteamericano no debes presuponer que es de los Estados Unidos.Just because he's a North American, you shouldn't assume that he's from the United States..
4. (nationality)
a. American
Conocí a una norteamericana de Boston llamada Sarah que vino a Argentina a estudiar español.I met an American from Boston named Sarah who came to Argentina to study Spanish.
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