The adjective "ethnic" refers to a person's  ancestry, nationality, or cultural identity. Sometimes the word "ethnic" refers to race or religion.

  These women are dancing at an ethnic fesival.

  • There is a great diversity of ethnic neighborhoods in American cities.

  • Ethnic festivals celebrate a particular group of people who can trace their lineage to a country or region. (lineage = ancestry)

  • Do you like ethnic food? (Ethnic food is generally anything that is not American.)

  • St. Patrick's Day is a type of ethnic celebration.  


The word "ethnicity" is a noun. This is commonly applied when talking about a person's background. It's a good alternative to the word "race."

  • What is your ethnicity?

  • Many people in the United States are not completely sure of their ethnicity.

  • People who come from Africa are not all of the same ethnicity. There are many different ethnicities found on that continent.

  • People who are Irish take a lot of pride in their ethnicity.

  • It's illegal to discriminate against a person based on his or her ethnicity.



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