Blog: AJ/English 6th Class 31/10/20

Nations and Nationality

Sometimes people find this topic very confusing and hard to understand, but I am going to try and make it easier for you………I hope 🙂

What is a nation?

A nation is a country, like the United Kingdom, where I am from or the Czech Republic where you are from. They are usually made up of a group of people who share the same language, history, culture, etc and have one government.

What is nationality?

Nationality is the name for the people of a country or nation. So as I said I am from the United Kingdom, but this doesn’t have a nationality of its own, instead I am British because I am from Great Britain which is a part of the United Kingdom, I am also English because I am from England, which is part of Great Britain, which is part of the United Kingdom hahaha ( a little confusing isn’t it but do not worry most countries are easier to talk about). Maybe before we move on I should tell you a bit about the United Kingdom (UK for short).

What is the United Kingdom?

The United Kingdom is made up of four nations/countries. These are England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Great Britain is made up of only three countries, England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland is not part of Great Britain but it is part of the UK, the reasons for this are very long and difficult to explain but in short it is because people in Northern Ireland can be both British and Irish (from Ireland). I must come from the country with one of the longest names in the world as on my passport it say “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” wow that is a mouthful isn’t it?

You can see how the flag of the UK is made but confusingly it includes Ireland but not Wales (maybe better not to ask why for now)

What is nationality (part 2)?

So lets try again. I am British, my nationality is British, you are Czech from the Czech Republic your nationality is Czech. Easy!!

Talking about nationality.

The most important thing for you to remember when talking about nationality is that there are 8 major suffixes (word endings), they are:

  1. -ian (Italian, Norwegian)
  2. -ean (Chilean, Korean)
  3. -an (American, Mexican)
  4. -ese (Chinese, Japanese)
  5. -er (Icelander*, New Zealander)
  6. -ic (Icelandic, Greenlandic)
  7. -ish (English, Irish)
  8. -i (Iraqi, Pakistani)

*some countries have more than one word for their nationality like Icelander/Icelandic or Slovak/Slovakian.

Unfortunately there is no easy rule to help you know which ending goes with which nationality my advice would be to try what sounds good and is easy to say for example Japan -ese is much easier to say than Japan -ian or Japan -ean. Interestingly your own nationality Czech is unique and in a class of it’s own, so you are pretty special but then I think you already knew that! Go to your class page to download some practice worksheets. Also you can find a full list of nations and nationalities right here.

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