USA / US

tenderness

Member
Peninsular Spanish
Hi everyone!

What is the difference between saying USA and US? USA is used as a noun and US as an adjective?

Thank you!
 
  • matthews028

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Occasionally, "US" is used as a substitute for the adjective "American". Other than that, US and USA are totally interchangeable (they're both nouns).
     

    Erkek

    Senior Member
    Mérida, Venezuela. Spanish
    Estás en lo cierto y opino lo mismo. Cuando se descubrió el continente, fué denominado como Colombia, en honor a Colón. Pero se le atribuyeron más honores a Américo Vespucio, quien se quedó con el histórico privilegio de legar su nombre al continente.

    Es un error denominar americano a un estadounidense, puesto que tanto los argentinos, como lo cubanos, los haitianos, los mexicanos, los canadienses, los chilenos y los venezolanos (entre muchos otros) podemos decirnos americanos.

    Se ha creado la generalidad de tomar a los Estado Unidos de América simplemente como "America" . Por ejemplo el nombre oficial de México es "Estados Unidos Mexicanos" y el país como tal es conocido como México. Ha de ser por razones como ésta que se ha creado este erróneo gentilicio, de aquellos que por cierto, fundaron parte de su aplastante nación en suelo mexicano.

    D@n
     

    Scheieian

    Senior Member
    US English
    I'm from the Midwest in the U.S., and I've grown up in the wake of the attacks on September 11, 2001. In my experience, U.S.A and U.S. are not completely interchangeable as nouns.

    U.S.A. tends to be used in nationalist discourse. When I say U.S.A., it feels like I'm emphatically invoking the entire name of the country. I think of the song "Proud to be an American", with the lyric 'God Bless the U.S.A.' If I went around talking about the U.S.A. people might joke "where's your flag, Mr. America? Are you going to enlist to fight the terrorists?"

    "America" has much less of a nationalist feel to it. I avoid calling the U.S. "America" as a tiny exercise in anti-imperialism, but I've lived in a country in Latin America. For most people in the U.S., "America" is the default term.

    It feels more neutral to say U.S., though admittedly it's incomplete.
     
    Last edited:

    aloofsocialite

    Senior Member
    English - USA (California)
    My experience is similar to Scheieian's. USA then followed by America, (well, 'merica) have nationalist charges for me. US is somehow less coopted by that rhetoric in my head and thus sounds more "neutral" to me as well.
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    I agree with Scheieian and aloofsocialite. I also want to emphasize the point made in post #3, which is that US can be used adjectivally, but not USA.
    There is no logic to this, just convention.

    ​US foreign policy :tick:
    USA foreign policy :cross:
    American ​foreign policy :tick:
     

    catrina

    Senior Member
    Spanish, Mexico
    I agree with Scheieian and aloofsocialite. I also want to emphasize the point made in post #3, which is that US can be used adjectivally, but not USA.
    There is no logic to this, just convention.

    ​US foreign policy :tick:
    USA foreign policy :cross:
    American ​foreign policy :tick:

    Otro ejemplo:
    USD = US dollars
    pero no
    USA dollars
     

    elirlandes

    Senior Member
    Ireland English
    We tend to use USA often outside the USA because, not being there, it makes sense to emphasise this... Perhaps in earlier times it was helpful to distinguish from the United States of Mexico also - los Estados Unidos Mexicanos...

    Es un error denominar americano a un estadounidense
    Pero no en inglés. Si le dices a un Canadiense por ejemplo que es "American" no le hace gracia. En inglés, "American" quiere decir de los EEUU. Ahora sí, se puede decir "from the Americas", o "North American" o "South American".
    Del mismo modo que "norteamericano" en México quiere decir Estadounidense, y no del continente... un mexicano no se refiere a un canadiense como norteamericano, aunque sí es de "North America", al igual de hecho que el mismo mexicano... son usos...
     
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