She has an Italian ancestry / She is of Italian ancestry


Senior Member
Italian - Italy
Hello eveybody!

I'm rather doubtful about the correct usage of the word "ancestry".

Could anyone, please, indicate to me the correct phrase between the following ones:

She has an Italian ancestry

She is of Italian ancestry

Is "ancestry" a countable noun?


  • Tyrion Lann

    Senior Member
    INDIA -Hindi
    She has/ shares an Italian ancestry.:tick:( countable)

    She is of Italian ancestry:tick:( uncountable)

    Her ancestry goes back to Italian. ( Not sure about it)


    Senior Member
    English - US
    According to the dictionary, the countable and uncountable forms have slightly different meanings.
    She has an Italian ancestry. There is a group of Italians among her ancestors.
    She has Italian ancestry. At least one of her ancestors is Italian.

    (Genealogy is one of my hobbies and I have rarely, if ever, seen the countable usage.)


    Senior Member
    I'm afraid your question isn't clear. How do you want to use "go back to" in the OP's sentences?


    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    No, we wouldn't say "Her ancestry goes back to Italian," shri 8. Her ancestry is Italian. It doesn't "go" anywhere.

    She may be able to trace her ancestry back to Catherine de' Medici, but we still wouldn't use "go."
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