Russian or Russians? (Substantivized adjectives)

It’s a very simple question, but I feel puzzled for some reason.

I am Russian. They are… Russian or Russians? (Some people from Russia
are meant here.)

He is Greek. They are… Greek or Greeks?

I would say “They are Russian/Greek/English/Portuguese”. Should I use the adjective (Russian) or substantivized adjective (Russians) in sentences like these?

Please correct me if I am wrong.


“Russian” is both an adjective and a noun.

You can say “these chocolates are Belgian” or “my friends are Belgian” – both times you use the adjective to describe the chocolates or the friends.

You can say “my friends are Belgians” but not “these chocolates are Belgians” – “Belgians” is the plural of the noun “Belgian” which means “a person who is a citizen of Belgium”. The chocolates are most definitely not citizens of Belgium, so “Belgians” is wrong there.

You can say “my friends are Russian” or “my friends are Russians” – once it is used as an adjective, and once it is used as a noun. Both ways are correct. The meaning is practically the same.

Source : Link , Question Author : Yulia , Answer Author : gnasher729

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