Language 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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