2

That's the Canadian in you.

Is this Canadian a noun or an adjective? To clarify the fog, I asked 92 to 96 native speakers residing in the U.S. for the acceptability of the following three sentences. However, both 'English' and 'Englishman' were equally accepted. I thought if 'English' was accepted more, I was going to presume the 'Canadian' was an adjective with the ellipsis of personality or something, and that if 'Englishman' was accepted more, I was going to suppose it was a noun.

  1. That's the English in you. [acceptance: 73.0%]
  2. That's the Englishman in you. [72.8%]
  3. (That's the Englishmen in you. [32.6%])
  • It depends on your interpretation. Even English can be thought of as a noun rather than an adjective—especially if the phrase is thought to be describing the language itself. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica May 2 at 4:20
  • I meant the listener's personality. I mentioned that in the survey. – Sssamy May 2 at 5:06
  • Well, with Canadian, it could mean that's the personality of a native of Canada in you. Which would be using it as a noun. Or it could mean that's the Canadian type of personality in you. Which would be using it as an adjective—or at least adjectivally, if you want to think of Canadian as an attributive noun (it's also a proper adjective, of course). – Jason Bassford Supports Monica May 2 at 5:17
  • As with many country-derived nationality names, Canadian is already an adjective used as a noun. – Lawrence May 2 at 5:19
  • I am Canadian (adjective) and I am a Canadian (noun). Both sentences are acceptable. But that's the Canadian in you doesn't explicitly translate into one or the other. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica May 2 at 5:21
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In my experience, per this usage, "Canadian" is functioning as a noun and even further a proper noun of nationality meaning that the capitalization of Canadian is correct. As an adjective it would, in most circumstances, not be capitalized.

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