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"A young Japanese came to visit us last night" is not what native speakers of English would say. Instead you might say, "A young Japanese man (or anything else that describes the person, perhaps) came to visit us last night."

What other nationality-noun cannot be regarded as a singular? Those of Asia, Africa and Pacific islands?

Hiro
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I would certainly say, 'A young Japanese came to visit us'.
Hi guys,

"A young Japanese came to visit us last night" is not what native speakers of English would say. Instead you might say, "A young Japanese man (or anything else that describes the person, perhaps) came to visit us last night."

As one who has never lived in Japan, I would say 'a young Japanese man' rather than 'a young Japanese'. It's partly because the latter does not make the gender clear, but I think mainly because it's just idiomatic, at least where I live. Similarly, I'd usually say 'a young German guy ' rather than 'a young German'.

Best wishes, Clive
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Hi, Mister Macawber. Hi, Clive.

Reading the following thread has made me put up the query, regarding whether or not a given nationality-noun is used as a singular. You would say, "He is Japanese," but you wouldn't say, "He is a Japanese," would you?

http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/PoorEnglishSpeakingJapanese/bxhmh/Post.htm

Hiro
I'm sorry, but I do not agree with the thrust of that thread. As a native speaker, I find nothing odd about referring to someone as a Korean, a Japanese, a Thai, etc (A Korean, a Japanese, and a Thai went into a bar...etc.). Offhand, it seems to me that wherever the noun can refer to all, it can refer to one. On the other hand, the French is a pronomial use of the adjective.
The Japanese themselves seem to fairly consistently use "a Japanese".
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Hi again,

In Canada, my Chinese students often refer to someone as 'a Chinese', but I never hear anyone who is not Chinese say that.

Best wishes, Clive
In my own region of the world it seems that only nationality adjectives that end in -an or -i are also used as a noun referring to a person, none ending in -ish, -ch, or -ese.

an Italian, a German, a Hungarian, an American, an Egyptian, a Korean, a Canadian, a Honduran, a Mexican, an Israeli, a Pakistani, a Saudi

But
an Englishman, an Irishman, a Frenchman, a Dutchman, a Portuguese man, a Japanese man, a Chinese man, a Swiss man
And
a Spaniard, a Finn, a Swede, a Dane

Lately, I have heard the -ese group used the same as the -an group, but I haven't adopted this yet, as I haven't heard it enough to sound right to my ear.

a Chinese, a Javanese, a Portuguese

I have no idea what the correct form is for a person who is British. a Brit? a Briton? a British man?
Nor any idea what to do with Scotland at all. a Scot? a Scots? a Scotsman? a Scotch? Nor the correct adjectival form of Scotland. Scots? Scottish? Scotch?
It is a Welshman, isn't it?

CJ
CalifJimI have no idea what the correct form is for a person who is British. a Brit? a Briton? a British man?
Nor any idea what to do with Scotland at all. a Scot? a Scots? a Scotsman? a Scotch? Nor the correct adjectival form of Scotland. Scots? Scottish? Scotch?
It is a Welshman, isn't it?
A Briton would be fine, although we often tend to refer to ourselves as Brits. Someone from Scotland is a Scot or Scotsman. And yes, it's a Welshman, in the same way that it's also an Englishman. Technically any of the above could be called Britons as they are all British.
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