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Italian Language/expressing nationality


Dear Maria,  

Can you please tell me if it is acceptable to use the noun form to express nationality?

For example, would it be correct to say:

“Io sono un americano.”
I am an American.

Thank you



Dear Rich,

it is acceptable to use the noun form to express nationality as in “Io sono un Americano”, but it is more common to say:”Sono Americano”  where we use the adjective instead of the noun form.

There is however a difference between “Io sono un Americano” and  “Sono Americano”.
In fact,the noun form to express nationality is being used especially in sentences like e.g. “Io sono un Americano che vive in Italia da molti anni”, “Sono un Italiano  sui generis” (I am an atypical Italian), “Era un Francese che si era stabilito da tempo in Inghilterra”, etc. where the main clause “Sono un Americano/un Italiano/un Francese” is followed by a relative clause or some details that complete the sentence.

In short, “Sono Americano/Francese/Italiano....” is  a sentence commonly used to express nationality, while the other examples have a more specific sense.

Best regards,

Please note that I prefer to use the capital letter in "Americano", "Italiano", "Francese", etc.,though today it is the small letter that is often used for these adjectives & nouns.

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Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.


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I received my Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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