(someone's) ethnicity

A person's "ethnicity" refers to their ethnic background, which means which group of people their ancestors belonged to.

Here are some examples of different ethnicities:

  • Irish
  • Korean
  • Native American
  • Jewish
  • French Canadian
  • Persian

"Ethnicity" is a little different from "nationality", which is just the country that a person is from:

  • American
  • Russian
  • Indian

...and "race", which describes a few major groups of people based mostly on skin color:

  • white
  • black
  • Asian

The word "ethnicity" sounds kind of formal and scientific. It's usually more polite to talk about people's "ethnicity" than their "race".

This phrase appears in these lessons: