Country & Nationality List
The table below has a country and nationality list which contains almost every country in the world.
The ‘Adjective’ column gives the word used to describe something from that country:
The ‘Nationality’ column gives the name used for a person from that country.
Note that in English, unlike many languages, there is only one form used for both males and females.
She’s a Dane, and she’s married to a Cypriot.
I’m Honduran, where are you from?
Often the adjective and the nationality have the same form, but not always.
Notice in the country and nationality list, that in English we use a capital letter at the beginning of the name of a country and nationality, for the people or things associated with it. The one exception is ni-Vanuatu.
Notice some common endings are –ian, -ean, -ese, -ish
Some rules with country names:
Using ‘the’ with country names
Officially only two countries have the definite article the in their name;
The Bahamas (officially The Commonwealth of The Bahamas)
The Gambia (officially The Republic of The Gambia).
I am going to the Bahamas this year, not I am going to Bahamas this year
Although not officially in the name, in English we attribute a definite article to some country names. Unfortunately there are no clear rules or reasons, only speculation:
- the longer official name ‘Republic of’ or ‘Kingdom of’ has been dropped to give a shorter name i.e. the Netherlands (Kingdom of the Netherlands)
- the name of the country indicates a union of multiple political entities, and the name could be considered a compound noun, or noun and adjective i.e. the United Kingdom
- the name is in the plural as it includes different islands and so can be considered to refer to a geographical area i.e. the Maldives
- the name is based on a geographical feature, such as a river, a mountain range, a desert (which take a definite article) i.e. the Congo (the river)
- from historical meaning of the original name which would have required a definite article i.e. the Netherlands meant ‘the low countries’
We use the definite article with these countries:
the Netherlands (Kingdom of the Netherlands)
the Philippines (Republic of the Philippines)
the Sudan (Republic of the Sudan)
the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
the Czech Republic
the Dominican Republic
the United States
the United Kingdom
the United Arab Emirates
the Solomon Islands
I am visiting Italy.
I am visiting the Netherlands.
Until recently, in English we also used the definite article with Ukraine, Lebanon, Yemen but no longer do so. The former dropped the definite article from its official name about twenty years ago when it stopped being part of the Russian Federation. Formerly the Lebanon was used (probably from the mountain range) but it is rarely seen in that form now, and similarly with Yemen.
Prepositions in and to with countries
I am in Angola. I am going to Germany on Friday.
She grew up in New Zealand. She moved to Monaco last March.
in indicates inside the country
to indicates towards
Continents & Oceans
Southern (Antarctic) Ocean
You may see North Atlantic and South Atlantic, and North Pacific and South Pacific, making 7 Oceans.
Country & Nationality List