plural nationality nouns

videto

New Member
Polish- Poland
Hey,

I tried to google it, however, haven’t found any answer.

I’ve read that 'the' needs to be used with nationality adjectives that have –ese -sh -ch -ss ending to refer to the whole nation, e.g., The French are known for….

For other nationalities plural nationality nouns are used in the same way (with the), for instance, The Greeks; The Turks.

My question is as follows: Does ‘the’ always need to be added in front of plural nationality nouns? Does dropping ‘the’ change a meaning?
 
  • Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    No. Yes. (Respectively)
    Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. In general, Greeks with gifts are not to be trusted.
    Beware of the Greeks bearing gifts. A particular group of Greeks with gifts are not to be trusted.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Hi,

    Welcome to WRF. The is not always needed with a plural nationality:

    "I see the Greeks are in trouble again with the EU." -> the entire nation
    "I see Greeks are rioting in the streets." -> A number of Greeks / Some Greeks / A lot of Greeks, but not all Greeks. <- often seen as a group of individuals

    However, with French:

    "I see the French are in trouble again with the EU." -> the entire nation
    "I see the French are rioting in the streets." -> A number of French / Some French. / A lot of French <- often seen as a group of individuals.
     
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