Nationalities in Spanish: The Epic, Slang-Filled Guide

How to say the different nationalities in Spanish

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Nationalities in Spanish are one of those things that you just need to memorize in order to use correctly, as there are no rules to know how to say a nationality based on the name of the country (just like in English).

However, there are some general rules you should know:


To use nationalities correctly you must use the correct gender based on the subject of the sentence.

Example: (Peruvian) peruano – peruana

Singular and plural

Nationalities have to show if the subject is singular and plural.

Example: (Colombian) colombiano/ colombiana – colombianos/ colombianas.

Not capitalized

Unlike in English, nationalities in Spanish are never capitalized.

Example: Chileno – chileno

Nationalities in Spanish List

As I said before, there aren’t rules for nationalities. But, like English, we have common endings that might help you decide which one sounds more correct and eventually get them right with practice.

An – Ano (a) 

English Spanish Nationality
 Germany Alemania alemán – alemana
 Colombia  Colombia  colombiano -colombiana
 Peru  Perú  peruano – peruana
 Italy  Italia italiano – italiana



English Spanish Nationality
Canada Canadá canadiense
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
 United States Estados Unidos estadounidense
 Nicaragua Nicaragua nicaraguense


Eño – eña

English Spanish Nationality
El Salvador El Salvador salvadoreño – salvadoreña
Brazil Brasil brasileño – brasileña
Panama Panamá panameño – panameña
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico puertorriqueño – puertorriqueña


Es – esa

English Spanish Nationality
 Portugal Portugal portugués – portuguesa
France Francia francés – francesa
Finland Finlandia finlandés – finlandesa
Japan Japón japonés – japonesa


ino – ina

English Spanish Nationality
China China chino – china
Philippines Filipinas filipino – filipina
Argentina Argentina argentino – argentina


Eno – ena 

English Spanish Nationality
Chile Chile chileno – chilena
Slovenia Eslovenia esloveno – eslovena
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Spanish Nationalities Quiz

Use the correct nationality:
  1. Sushi is from Japan – El sushi es __ __ __ __ __ __ __
  2. The Effel Tower is from France –  La torre Effel es__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
  3. Andy and Sally are from Australia – Ellos son __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
  4. María is from Brazil – Ella es __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
  5. Shakira is from Colombia – Ella es__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
  6. Baseball is from The United States – Es __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
  7. Mr. and Mrs. Chang are from China – Ellos son__ __ __ __ __ __
  8. Pizza is from Italy – Es__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
  9. BMW is from Germany – Es __ __ __ __ __ __
  10. Tacos are from Mexico – Son__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __


  1. japones
  2. francesa
  3. australianos
  4. brasileña
  5. colombiana
  6. estadounidense
  7. chinos
  8. italiana
  9. alemán
  10. mejicanos/ mexicanos
More practice:
  1. Lionel Messi is from Argentina, él es ______________
  2. Salsa is the typical music from Puerto Rico, es __________
  3. Angel falls (Salto Ángel) is the highest waterfall in the world, it is located in Venezuela, Salto Ángel es _________
  4. Cristiano Ronaldo is from Portugal, él es _____________
  5. Hockey is from Canada, es ______________
  6. Panamá Canal is a way to communicate Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, el Canal de Panamá es _________
  7. Haka is a traditional dance from New Zealand, es ____________
  8. Kimi Raikkonen Is a famous formula 1 driver, he is from Finland, él es ____________
  9. Manny Pacquiao is a famous boxer, he is from Philippines, él es _______________
  10. Machu Picchu is a touristic place in Peru, es __________
  11. Roger Federer is from Switzerland, él es ____________
  12. Pablo Neruda is from Chile, él es ____________
  13. Rafael Nadal is from Spain, él es ____________


  1. argentino.
  2. puertorriqueño.
  3. venezolano.
  4. portugués.
  5. canadiense.
  6. panameño.
  7. neozelandés.
  8. finlandés.
  9. filipino.
  10. peruano.
  11. suizo.
  12. chileno.
  13. español.

Spanish Slang for Nationalities (gentilicios coloquiales)

Though not common in English (one example – New Zealand / kiwis), in Spanish there’s a lot of slang for people from different countries. Remember, like all of our slang sections, make sure you’re not in a formal setting!
Country Slang
 Alemania Teutón
Honduras Catracho
Francia  Galo
Portugal  Luso
Antigua y Barbuda Antiguanos
Suiza Helvéticos
Puerto Rico Boricua
Paraguay Guaraní
Estados Unidos Gringo
Nicaragua Nica
El Salvador Gunaco
Perú Cholo
Nueva Zelanda Kiwi
Guatemala Chapín
Países Bajos Neerlandés

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