1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "You are humans."

"You are humans."

Translation:Vous êtes des humains.

March 14, 2013

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/solipsist180

What is the funtion of « des » here? Isn't being human a state of being? Would « Vous êtes humains » mean the same?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"humain" can be a noun or an adjective.

singular noun: un humain (a human = one), plural: des humains (humans = more than one)

if you say "you are human" or "vous êtes humain(s)", it describes a personality trait (empathy, generosity...), not a factual state, where "you are a human being" would mean "you are not an animal".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ubernichts

I believe the English language moved this meaning of the humain adjective into humane. human can still be used as an adjective, but it is not inherently positive, it just means "of human species", therefore "You are human" can actually mean "You are a human" in English.

Singular:

  • You are humane => Tu es humain / Vous êtes humain
  • You are [a ]human => Tu es un humain / Vous êtes un humain

Plural:

  • You are humane => Vous êtes humains
  • You are humans => Vous êtes des humains

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dan0

Can this not also be "tu es des humains"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Unless if you have a clone, but no, really "tu" is definitely singular. However, you can say "vous êtes un humain" if you politely address a single person.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/juneune

I did not know tu was only used in the singular. Thanks for pointing that out!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/smnach

Why not les instead of des, as humains is a generality and not specific.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

This is not a generality in French terms, it is just the plural of "you are a/one human".

Remember that "un/une" do have a plural form = des (indefinite article)

Generalities are constructed with definite articles; for example:

  • les humains portent des vêtements = humans wear clothes.

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/olegnash

Is it possible to say "On est des humains"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jacobthedrummer

So why did Duo give me the answer "Vous êtes des HOMMES," and not "humains?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

"vous êtes des humains" is the best translation here.

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.