"You are humans."

Translation:Vous êtes des humains.

March 14, 2013

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


"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".


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.


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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.


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


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


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

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