"USA" as nationality

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mievaan

New Member
Finnish
Hi! Can “USA” be used as a nationality? The context is that I have to summarize the nationalities of a group of people responding to a survey. Is it incorrect to say: “The most common nationality was USA (20 persons), followed by Spanish (17)… etc”?
Thanks in advance!
 
  • Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    No. USA is a country.
    The nationality of people from the USA is American. They can also be called US citizens.

    The most common nationality was American (20 persons), followed by Spanish (17)

    You could also say: US citizens (20 persons) were the largest group, followed by Spanish citizens (17)
     

    jpyvr

    Senior Member
    English - Canadian
    I agree with Brioche's comments above, but I have noticed that often Americans (and others), when asked for nationality on a form or an application, simply put USA in the gap. I think this might be to make sure that the nationality is of the USA and not any other American state, but I'm not sure. However, I have definitely seen this usage frequently.
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    I agree with Brioche's comments above, but I have noticed that often Americans (and others), when asked for nationality on a form or an application, simply put USA in the gap. I think this might be to make sure that the nationality is of the USA and not any other American state, but I'm not sure. However, I have definitely seen this usage frequently.
    Well, you could interpret nationality as "country of citizenship", which would be USA

    << Speculation that started the off-topic theme has been deleted by moderator. >>
     
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    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Speaking as one of them:

    Taking my passport as an authority, it says:
    Nationality: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    The problem, of course, is that the name of the country is "United States of America," which is too long to be a convenient modifier and almost cries out for a convenient abbreviation.

    If you were filling out a landing card, putting "USA" in a blank for "nationality would not be unusual -- as suggested by jpyvr

    In your sample, however, I would write it:“The most common nationality was U.S...." (with periods, BE:full stops).

    Actually, all of the above work and the specific usage depends somewhat upon context.

    I don't quite share Brioche's comments on "Americans," not that it's wrong, but it's no more "correct" than "U.S" or "United States" -- and is longer to write than just "U.S."

    I wouldn't worry too much about it.
     
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    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    But what does it say on a U.K. passport for nationality? (if specified)
    In mine, under Nationality/Nationalité, it says "British citizen" (sorry, koniecswiata;):D).
    .Taking my passport as an authority, it says:
    Nationality: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    The problem, of course, is that the name of the country is "United States of America," which is too long to be a convenient modifier and almost cries out for a convenient abbreviation.

    If you were filling out a landing card, putting "USA" in a blank for "nationality would not be unusual -- as suggested by jpyvr

    In your sample, however, I would write it:“The most common nationality was U.S...." (with periods, BE:full stops).

    [...]I wouldn't worry too much about it.
    That sounds like very wise advice.
     
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    correctingwrongs

    New Member
    Spanish- Central America
    Actually the term "American" refers to the citizens of all of the following 55 countries:

    Anguilla (UK)
    Antigua and Barbuda
    Argentina
    Aruba (Kingdom of the Netherlands)
    Bahamas
    Barbados
    Belize
    Bermuda (UK)
    Bolivia
    Brazil
    British Virgin Islands (UK)
    Canada
    Caribbean Netherlands (Kingdom of the Netherlands)
    Cayman Islands (UK)
    Chile
    Colombia
    Costa Rica
    Cuba
    Curaçao (Kingdom of the Netherlands)
    Dominica
    Dominican Republic
    Ecuador
    El Salvador
    Falkland Islands (UK)[6]
    French Guiana
    Greenland (Denmark)
    Grenada
    Guadeloupe (France)
    Guatemala
    Guyana
    Haiti
    Honduras
    Jamaica
    Martinique (France)
    Mexico
    Montserrat (UK)
    Nicaragua
    Panama
    Paraguay
    Peru
    Puerto Rico (US)[5]
    Saint Barthélemy (France)
    Saint Kitts and Nevis
    Saint Lucia
    Saint Martin (France)
    Saint Pierre and Miquelon (France)
    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    Sint Maarten (Kingdom of the Netherlands)
    Suriname
    Trinidad and Tobago
    Turks and Caicos Islands (UK)
    United States
    United States Virgin Islands (US)
    Uruguay
    Venezuela

    The proper demonym would be along the lines of united-statesian as they are called in every other language, for example in German the correct demonym is <<Non English removed>>, or in Spanish, <<Non English removed>>.
     
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    funnyhat

    Senior Member
    American English
    Actually the term "American" refers to the citizens of all of the following 55 countries:

    The proper demonym would be along the lines of united-statesian as they are called in every other language, for example in German the correct demonym is <<Non English removed>>, or in Spanish, <<Non English removed>>..
    This may technically be the case, but the reality is that when speaking in English, there really is no doubt what country "Americans" come from.
     
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    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    Actually the term "American" refers to the citizens of all of the following 55 countries:

    That is probably true in other languages, but not generally true in English, outside of certain specific contexts. I realize this is a big political issue for some Latin Americans (note that I did not say "Americans") -- cf. Falklands/Malvinas -- but it is simply a language difference, not a political one. "America" in other languages does not necessarily translate to "America" in English.
     
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    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    Well, in English, at least all the varieties of English that I am familiar with, American refers to people from the USA, not to people from Canada or Mexico or those other countries. In fact in just about all the other languages I know except for Spanish, American also refers to people from the US.
     

    Susan Y

    Senior Member
    British English
    USA (20 persons), followed by Spanish (17)
    If your concern is about including a noun (USA) amongst a list of adjectives (Spanish etc), I wouldn't worry about it. Some of us have to do this all the time! There is no adjective relating to New Zealand, so every time I am asked to give my nationality I have to say British/ New Zealand. It is irritatingly asymmetric, but there we are.
     
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    pbweill

    Member
    English-USA
    I'm going with "U.S. subjects" to describe a population of study subjects. In a formal context, definitely not "American."
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I'm going with "U.S. subjects" to describe a population of study subjects. In a formal context, definitely not "American."
    ...and I think you are going wrong.

    Americans are very keen on calling themselves "citizens", not subjects.
     
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    Copperknickers

    Senior Member
    Scotland - Scots and English
    Actually the term "American" refers to the citizens of all of the following 55 countries:
    And the term 'English' should refer to people from England. And the term 'Holland' should refer to the central province of the Netherlands. And the 'Democratic' People's Republic of Korea should have one of those words removed, and another added. But 'should' and 'is' are two very different words unfortunately. We must teach people real world English, not ideal English.
     

    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    Citizens of the USA are definitely not 'subjects.' They can be described as "US citizens" or "US nationals."
     

    Uriel-

    Senior Member
    American English
    I agree with Brioche's comments above, but I have noticed that often Americans (and others), when asked for nationality on a form or an application, simply put USA in the gap. I think this might be to make sure that the nationality is of the USA and not any other American state, but I'm not sure. However, I have definitely seen this usage frequently.
    No, it's because it's faster to write. We do not use the term "American" in English for any other nationalities, so there would be no potential confusion.
     
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