Answers to questions about nationality (a Pole or Polish)

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wolfbm1

Senior Member
Polish
Hello.

There are some pictures of famous people from different countries in the handbook of English "Total English Elementary."
The students are supposed to ask and answer questions about their nationality e.g.:
A: Where is he from? (pointing at a picture of Roman Polanski)
B: He's from Poland. He's Polish.

I wonder if the answer "He's a Pole" would be idiomatic. :confused:
Or "He's an Englishman/Briton" instead of "He's English/British" (about Daniel Craig)
Or "He's a Finn" instead of "He's Finnish"." (about Knut Fredrik Idestam - a founder of Nokia)
 
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  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Normally we use the adjective: he's Finnish, Polish, English. There is only limited use for singular words like 'Swede', 'Dane', 'Pole'. We're unlikely to say 'I met a Pole the other day' or 'There's a Dane in our class' or 'I work with a Finn' - despite it being longer, 'a person from Finland' or 'a Finnish person' would be more common.
     

    wolfbm1

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Normally we use the adjective: he's Finnish, Polish, English. There is only limited use for singular words like 'Swede', 'Dane', 'Pole'. We're unlikely to say 'I met a Pole the other day' or 'There's a Dane in our class' or 'I work with a Finn' - despite it being longer, 'a person from Finland' or 'a Finnish person' would be more common.
    Thank you, entangledbank. :)
    So, when you want to know the nationality of a student in a class which consists of people from different countries, you could ask: Where are you from?
    And the answer should be "I'm from Finland. (I'm Finnish.)" Or you could ask "What's your nationality?" and the answer normally would be "I'm Finnish." Maybe the answer "I'm a Finn" would sound very patriotic (I'm a Finn and I love Finland.).
    When talking about people of different nationalities in a classroom one could say "There are four people from Poland, three Russians, two Chinese people and a Finnish person."
     
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