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

Je suis italienne.
I am Italian.


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.


Q&A

ARUMUGAM

Kwiziq community member

14 September 2018

2 replies

ton ou ta

Quelle est ton nationalite ou quelle est ta nationalite?

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

 

Chris

Kwiziq community member

15 September 2018

15/09/18

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?

ARUMUGAM

Kwiziq community member

16 September 2018

16/09/18

Merci

Julie

Kwiziq community member

16 February 2018

1 reply

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

Chris

Kwiziq community member

16 February 2018

16/02/18

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).

Amy

Kwiziq community member

28 February 2017

1 reply

Does "dit" mean says?

yellamaraju

Kwiziq community member

2 March 2017

2/03/17

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

JM

Kwiziq community member

14 January 2017

1 reply

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?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

16 January 2017

16/01/17

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 !

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

24 August 2016

1 reply

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'.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

24 August 2016

24/08/16

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 !


 


 

Hilary

Kwiziq community member

25 July 2016

1 reply

je suis nigerian{ne}

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

26 July 2016

26/07/16

Bonjour Hilary !

A man would be "nigérian", and a woman "nigériane" with one "n".

À bientôt !

Advika

Kwiziq community member

25 June 2016

1 reply

Je suis indienne.

Est ce - que je suis correct

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

28 June 2016

28/06/16

Oui, tu es correcte Advika: Bravo !

Moi je suis française :)

À bientôt !

Jose

Kwiziq community member

4 June 2016

1 reply

Je suis américain.

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

6 June 2016

6/06/16

Bonjour Jose -

Très bien ! Je suis américaine aussi.

Jo-Anne

Kwiziq community member

18 April 2016

4 replies

Je suis canadienne.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

19 April 2016

19/04/16

Bonjour Jo-Anne !

Moi je suis française mais j'habite en Angleterre. Et toi, où habites-tu ?

ca

Kwiziq community member

2 August 2018

2/08/18

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? 

ca

Kwiziq community member

2 August 2018

2/08/18

I mean in English. 

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

10 August 2018

10/08/18

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 !


 


 


 

Megan

Kwiziq community member

11 April 2016

1 reply

Je suis anglaise.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

12 April 2016

12/04/16

Bonjour Megan !

Tu es anglaise ? Super ! Et où habites-tu en Angleterre ?
Let me take a look at that...