When we refer to a nation or region, we can use:
– the name of the country or region: Turkey, Japan, Germany, Brazil, Asia
– a singular noun that we use for a person from the country or region: a Turk, a Japanese, a German, a Brazilian, an Asian
– the plural expression the … used for the whole population of a country or region: the Turks, the Japanese, the Germans, the Brazilians, the Asians
– an adjective: Turkish, Japanese, German, Brazilian, Asian
The name of a national language is commonly the same as the national adjective. In this case, the words are nouns and may be modified by adjectives. We don’t use the or the word language:
Do you speak Chinese?
Do you speak the Chinese?or Do you speak Chinese language?
Russian is difficult to learn, isn’t it, especially the alphabet?
She speaks fluent French.
We use a capital letter when we refer to a nationality, a language, a country and a region:
They have studied American literature.
They have studied american literature.
When we talk about the United Kingdom (UK), English is not the same as British. English is not used for Scottish or Welsh or Northern Irish people. (Great) Britain refers to the territory of England, Scotland and Wales. The United Kingdom refers to England, Scotland, Wales and the six counties of Northern Ireland. Some people from Northern Ireland refer to themselves as British in the context of the United Kingdom of Britain and Northern Ireland. However, everyone from Northern Ireland has the right to Irish nationality and can hold an Irish passport. Irish also refers to citizens of the Irish Republic.
The Scots themselves prefer the adjective Scots and it also occurs in the compounds Scotsman and Scotswoman. We use the adjective Scotch to refer only to food and drink from Scotland e.g. Scotch broth (broth is a kind of soup).
Nowadays we use the noun Briton only to refer to the ancient tribes that lived in Britain:
The ancient Britons built huge earthworks to bury their kings and leaders.
The short form of British, Brit, is often used as a noun (or less commonly as an adjective) in journalistic style and in informal situations to refer to British people:
The Brits have a bad reputation in some countries.
We use Arabic for the language spoken in Arab countries; the normal adjective is Arab (e.g. the Arab World, the Arab Press). We use Arabian in a few fixed expressions and place names (e.g. Arabian Nights is a famous film; the Arabian Sea).
Countries and regions and their adjectives and nouns
The singular noun is normally the same as the adjective (e.g. Moroccan), and the plural expression is the same as the adjective + -s (e.g. the Moroccans).
People (plural noun)
Here are some exceptions:
People (plural noun)
a British man/woman
The + country name
A few countries have the as part of their name, for example, The United States, The United Kingdom, The United Arab Emirates. We often abbreviate these to USA, UK and UAE.