Translation:America is not a country, it is a continent.
It's so true. America applies to North, Central and South, not just the United States. ;)
There is no continent called America in English. The continents North and South America are referred to collectively as "The Americas". In the English-speaking world, America exists only as an abbreviation for the United States of America, and a citizen of the United States is officially called an American.
I think the confusion arises from the fact that in Spanish, Portuguese, and some other languages, "The Americas" are just one continent, "America", and they have separate words for citizens of the United States (whereas in English we just have "Americans").
If "Los Estados Unidos de Mexico" can be referred to as "Mexico", cannot "The United States of America" be referred to in shortened form as "America"? It does not stop North America from being North America. It does not stop South America from being South America. By the way, I think that makes two continents.
In Brazil we are taught that America is a single continent and North, Central and South America are subdivisions. Although you will hear people calling americans "americanos", here it's far more common to refer to the country as "Estados Unidos" than simply "America".
Interesting. In the U.S., we are taught that there are two continents: North and South America. Central America is considered the lower portion of North America. This is probably where all the confusion comes from on both sides of the argument :).
the word "America" used on it's own like this refers to the USA exclusively as far as I'm concerned. You could say "the Americas" to refer to a collection of countries (typically central) but even that does not usually refer to the continental portions.
If you say America in Brazil people will think you are referring to the continent, because we (or the majority of us) are taught that it is a single continent with subdivisions, but using 'the Americas' is understandable.
and in a Brazilian Portuguese course all that matters is what to use in Brazil so thanks for the heads up :)
Grammatically speaking, it would also be correct to say, "America is not a country, but a continent". Grammatically speaking.
If America cannot be used to refer to a particular country, why is "americano" the most common adjective to describe someone or something from the United States
Estadunidense is the correct specific form to refer to it, even though the most used and colloquial form used in Brazil is "americano", but also many people feel discomfortable with it, cause we consider ourselves Americans as well (not from the US, but from America, the continent, obviously).
I'd like to call US people "United Staters", just like US people call people from the United Arab Emirates "Emiratis" and people from New England "New Englanders". However, people feel concerned with that and laugh at it, so I prefer to just call them US people or US Americans, sounds "more right" for them.
North America is a Continent. South America is a Continent. There is a country in North America called the United States of America. When people say they want to come to America, they are referring to the US.... and this is coming from an immigrant. No need to be offended if you are from another country by this fact. Nobody thinks of Columbia or Venezuela when referring to "America".
According to the english wikipedia article : "The Americas, also collectively called America, encompass the totality of the continents of North America and South America. Together they make up most of Earth's western hemisphere and comprise the New World."