Grammar Guide
Adjectives
Nationalities in Spanish

Nationalities in Spanish

Quick Answer

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).

Take a look at the different forms the adjective francés (French) can take.

Juan es un chico francés.
Juan is a French boy.
Anita es una chica francesa.
Anita is a French girl.
Juan y Bruno son alumnos franceses.
Juan and Bruno 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.

Unlike in English, nationalities in Spanish are not capitalized.

Nationalities that End in a Vowel

Nationalities that End in an o

Nationalities that end in an o have four forms: masculine singular, feminine singular, masculine plural, and feminine plural.

Here are some quick rules for the changes you'll need to make to the masculine singular form in order to make the feminine singular and plural forms.

To make the singular feminine form:

  • change the o in the masculine singular form to an a

To make the masculine plural form:

  • Add an s to the end of the masculine singular form

To make the feminine plural form:

  • Add an s to the end of the feminine singular form
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 only two forms. This is because the masculine and feminine singular forms of these adjectives are the same. Here are the rules for making the singular forms of these adjectives plural.

For adjectives that end in e or é:

  • add an s to end of the singular form to make the plural form

For adjectives that end in an accented vowel other than é:

  • 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.
Samuel es iraquí.
Samuel is Iraqi.
Los chicos son iraquíes.
The boys are Iraqi.

List of Common Nationalities that End in a Vowel

Here you'll find a handy list of common nationalities that end in a vowel.

English TranslationMasculine Singular FormMasculine Plural FormFeminine Singular FormFeminine Plural Form
American
americano
americanos
americana
americanas
Argentinean
argentino
argentinos
argentina
argentinas
Bolivian
boliviano
bolivianos
boliviana
bolivianas
Canadian
canadiense
canadienses
canadiense
canadienses
Costa Rican
costarricense
costarricenses
costarricense
costarricenses
Cuban
cubano
cubanos
cubana
cubanas
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
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, or 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.

Nationalities that End in a Consonant

Nationalities that end in a consonant have four forms: masculine singular, feminine singular, masculine plural, and feminine plural.

To make the feminine singular form:

  • add an a to the end of the masculine singular form
  • remove the written accent over the vowel if there is one
El maestro es alemán.
The teacher is German.
La maestra es alemana.
The teacher is German.
El escritor es japonés.
The writer is Japanese.
La escritora es japonesa.
The writer is Japanese.
El cantante es español.
The singer is Spanish.
La cantante es española.
The singer is Spanish.

To make the masculine plural form:

  • add -es to the masculine singular form
  • remove the written accent over the vowel if there is one

To make the feminine plural form:

  • add s to the feminine singular form
El maestro danés.
The teacher is Danish.
Los maestros son daneses.
The teacher are Danish.
Las maestras son danesas.
The teachers are Danish.
El cantante es español.
The singer is Spanish.
Los cantantes son españoles.
The singers are Spanish.
Las cantantes son españolas.
The singers are Spanish.

List of Common Nationalities that End in a Consonant

Here you'll find a handy list of common nationalities that end in a consonant.

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

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