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Posted by on Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 8:14am.

So in my grammar book it is these explanation:
We use the with nationality adjectives that end -ese, -ch, -sh, -ss and are used to refer to all the people of that nationality, eg. Chinese, Japanese, Spanish.
The French drink a lot of wine.
The Swiss are famous for their banks.

Are these a right example? It is in the book, so I think it has to be right... I'm very confused... And are theire nationalities without the beginnings I write above?

  • English - Ms. Sue - , Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 8:30am

    I think you mean the endings, but that's OK. I know what you mean!

    Those are the primary endings (suffixes) used to indicate the people of particular lands, but they are not all inclusive. Here are some others:

    American or Americans (-n or -ns)
    Iraqi or Iraqis (-i or -is)

    http://www.linglish.net/2008/10/22/so-many-nationality-suffixes/
    The map here is useful.

    http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=1331292
    The main answer here is interesting.

  • English - Ms. Sue - , Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 8:33am

    So I can't say
    - The Americans are good in football. -
    I have to say
    - Americans are good in football. -
    ?
    But these aren't adjectives, aren't they?

  • English - Ms. Sue - , Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 8:38am

    You can use "The" or not. It'll be fine. You would probably use "The" only when comparing American teams with other countries' teams.

    In both sentences you wrote, "Americans" is serving as a noun (the subject of the sentence). "The" is serving as an article (sort of an adjective), and "good" is an adjective.

  • English - Ms. Sue - , Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 8:39am

    That is what confused me so.
    In my question I posted what my grammar book says, with the Examples. Are the explanation totaly right?

  • English - Ms. Sue - , Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 8:42am

    Yes, the explanation is right.

    These terms will be considered nouns if they are serving in a noun's position in the sentence:

    The French drink lots of wine.
    Americans are good at football.

    But these will be considered adjectives if they are used to describe/modify nouns:

    French wine is usually excellent.
    American football is different from Italian football.

  • English - Ms. Sue - , Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 8:44am

    Ok I get this. But French wine is usually excellent wouldn't be right after the explanation. It has to be The French wine is usually excellent. Am I right?

  • English - Ms. Sue - , Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 8:48am

    Again, you'd use "The" if you were comparing, but even that is not a hard-and-fast rule:

    The French wines are usually better than the Portuguese wines.

    or

    French wines are usually better than Portuguese wines.

    Both sentences are clear in their meaning, whether you use "The" or not. I wish this could be crystal clear for you, but this is a rather "fuzzy" thing in English!

  • English - Ms. Sue - , Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 8:51am

    So the rule that stands in my grammar book is not totally right. I can say The Amaricans are good at football even if there isn't one of the suffix that stands in my grammar book.

  • English - Ms. Sue - , Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 9:00am

    Right.

    Here's another explanation about using articles (the, a, an):
    http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/determiners/determiners.htm

    In the first paragraph here, you can tell that it's not an easy or consistent "rule" in English. This is what I meant by "fuzzy" above. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. I wish I could give you an explanation that is crystal clear, but there just isn't one.

  • English - Ms. Sue - , Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 9:00am

    I have to explain these to my classmates, so it will be better I understand it... And my grammar book confused me a lot...

  • English - Ms. Sue - , Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 9:02am

    So I just want to tell them that way.
    But why are they writing something like that in a Grammar book? Then it would be better they didn't write anything, or like by mountains they say, mountains vary. It's clear, you have to learn, or look it up.

  • English - Ms. Sue - , Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 9:19am

    Yes, it's not easy, that's for sure. It takes years and years of hearing people use any language correctly in order to learn it ourselves.

    Whenever I have studied Spanish, for example, I have a terrible time with the two verbs "soy" and "estoy" -- and with the use of "lo" -- they still confuse me!

    Keep on reading and listening to people who speak correct English. Eventually it'll become almost automatic.

  • English - Ms. Sue - , Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 9:29am

    we are all advanced learners, so we do most things automatically, and then to explain something is so difficult.. I will do my best but the rule in the book still confuse me.

  • English - Ms. Sue - , Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 9:37am

    Here are two websites in which you might find better explanations:

    http://www.englishclub.com/webguide/Grammar/index.htm

    http://www.englishclub.com/webguide/Grammar/index.htm

  • English - Ms. Sue - , Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 9:44am

    I thank you very much!
    You really helped me I'm still confused but it is better.
    If an other big problem come up with articles I will wirte it again.

  • English - Ms. Sue - , Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 9:53am

    You're very welcome!

    =)

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