Countries, Nationalities and Languages in French

In this lesson we will talk about countries, nationalities and languages in French.  You will learn to say what your nationality is, the names and genders of countries and continents in French, and what languages are spoken in the countries you will learn.  I will teach you how to say that you are going to or from a country, continent or city based on the number and gender of the geographical location. To access this free resource, you must be logged in to your LLL French Academy account. It’s free to sign up!

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PAYS ET NATIONALITES: RESOURCES FOR FRENCH TEACHERS OR CONVERSATION GROUPS:

Countries, continents, languages and nationalities

Les Nationalités

De quelle nationalité êtes-vous? What’s your nationality?

In this lesson we will talk about countries, nationalities and languages in French.  You will learn to say what your nationality is, the names and genders of countries and continents in French, and what languages are spoken in the countries you will learn.  Finally, I will teach you how to say that you are going to or from a country, continent or city based on the number and gender of the geographical location. 

To tell someone what your nationality is, you only need a couple of key ingredients:

SUBJECTVERBNATIONALITY

ÊTRE

The verb you need to learn to state your nationality in French is être. Click here for downloadable être conjugation charts in 9 tenses with pronunciation.

Je suis
I am
Nous sommes
We are
Tu es
You are
Vous êtes
You are
Il – Elle – On est
He is – She is – One is (We are)
Ils – Elles sont
They are

Common countries, continents, languages and nationalities

Nationalities are adjectives.  Adjectives always have to agree in gender and number with the noun they describe.

F = Feminine

M = Masculine

Most countries that end in the letter E are feminine in French.  There are some exceptions. 

All languages are masculine.

Country (French)Country (English)Official language(s) Nationality
(m & f) 
l’Afrique du Sud (f)South Africal’afrikaans, l’anglais + 11 autres languesSud-Africain(e)
l’Algérie (f)Algerial’arabeAlgérien(ne)
La Belgique (f)Belgiumle néerlandais, le français, l’allemandBelge
Le Brésil (m)Brazille portugaisBrésilien(ne)
Le Canada (m)Canadal’anglais, le françaisCanadien(ne)
La Chine (f)Chinale chinoisChinois(e)
l’Égypte (f)Egyptl’arabeÉgyptien(ne)
l’Angleterre (f)Englandl’anglaisAnglais(e)
La France (f)Francele françaisFrançais(e)
l’Allemagne (f)Germanyl’allemandAllemand(e)
l’Inde (f)Indiale hindi, l’anglais + 20 autres languesIndien(ne)
l’Irlande (f)Irelandl’irlandais, l’anglaisIrlandais(e)
l’Italie (f)Italyl’italienItalien(ne)
Le Japon (m)Japanle japonaisJaponais(e)
Le Mexique (m)
*exception, ends in E but is masculine
Mexicol’espagnolMexicain(e)
Le Maroc (m)Moroccol’arabe, le berbèreMarocain(e)
Les Pays-Bas (m)The Netherlandsle néerlandaisNéerlandais(e)
La Pologne (f)Polandle polonaisPolonais(e)
Le Portugal (m)Portugalle portugaisPortugais(e)
La Russie (f)Russiale russeRusse
Le Sénégal (m)Senegalle françaisSénégalais(e)
l’Espagne (f)Spainl’espagnolEspagnol(e)
La Suisse (f)Switzerlandle français, l’italien, l’allemand, le romancheSuisse
Les États-Unis (m)The United Statesl’anglais, l’espagnol
*There is no official language in the USA
Américain(e)
La Tunisie (f)Tunisial’arabeTunisien(ne)
La Suède (f)Swedenle suédoisSuédois(e)

Continents

All continents are feminine

l’Europe (f)Europe
l’Amérique (f)
l’Amérique du Nord (f)
l’Amérique du Sud (f)
America
l’Asie (f)Asia
l’Afrique (f)Africa
l’Océanie (f)Oceania

Capitalization of nationalities and languages

➤ Capitalize nationalities when they are used as NOUNS:

Les Français aiment le fromage.

➤ Don’t capitalize nationalities when they are used as adjectives:

C’est un passeport suisse.

Il est cubain.

➤ Languages are not capitalized in French.

Prepositions before geographical locations  

Going to:

To say you are going to or are in a geographical place:

AUIn / to a masculine, singular countryAU Japon
ÀIn / to a city*some exceptions applyÀ Paris
À La Nouvelle Orléans
ENIn / to any feminine, singular country and all continentsEN France
EN Europe
AUXIn / to any plural countryAUX États-Unis

Prepositions before geographical locations 

Coming from:

To say you are coming from or are from a geographical place:

DUFrom a masculine, singular countryDU Maroc
DE / D’From a city
*some exceptions apply
DE Londres
DU Caire
DE / D’From a feminine, singular country and all continentsD’Espagne
D’Australie
DESFrom any plural countryDES Pays-Bas

Quizlet:  Practice the Nationalities

Quizlet:  Practice Countries and Continents

Quizlet:  Countries and their Nationalities



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