1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "There are billions of us on …

"There are billions of us on earth."

Translation:Nous sommes des milliards sur terre.

February 1, 2018



Why not "Il y a des milliards de nous sur terre"?


OK to update. The given translation - "Nous sommes des milliards sur terre " is common and accepted.
"Il y a des milliards d'entre nous sur terre ? " is grammatically correct but not natural. This is probably why it is rejected.


when I asked my French neighbours they said Il y a des milliards de nous sur terre is how they would say it...


Interesting - thanks for the input. Can I ask if they are from France or Quebec? I only ask as this course teaches French as it is spoken in France so it would be interesting to know. Cheers ☺


"Il y a des milliards nous sur la terre." It is what I put. The given translation is good, but I think this is closer to what was asked for.


"Il y a des milliards d'entre nous sur terre" is not correct. "Il y a des milliards entre nous sur terre" would mean there are billions amongst us on earth, making the distinction between of us and amongst us.


Perhaps Il y a des milliards d'entre nous sur terre ? I have posted this question on the WordRef forum. If, and when, I get a response, I'll post it here (unless Sitesurf posts first ☺).


Any response yet?


Yes - posted below:

Apparently even "Il ya a des milliards d'entre nous sur terre "is also wrong as it suggests that, in addition to the billions of us who are on Earth, there are others who are somewhere else.


Can someone explain when it is sur terre and when it is sur la terre?


From what I can see, it is simply the way it is expressed unless words such as "the" or "this" are specified.

See: http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/anglais-francais/earth/577549


Similar to English saying "on Earth" instead of "on the Earth" then


Doesn't the word terre have an article? such as la terre?


Il y a des milliards de nous sur la terre seems as if it should be accepted also.


When the question was translated to French- did it change from third person to first person, or am I missing something?


Il y a des milliards de nous!


Wow, the hints really weren't helpful with this one... :S


I wonder if this expression works for small numbers also? Do these sentences make sense:

  • Nous sommes (de) trente (étudiants) sur (la) classe.

  • Nous sommes cinq (personnes) sur (la) famille.

If anybody has a thought, please share. :)


I think the reason "sur Terre" doesn't require the "la" is because "Earth" is being used as a proper noun in this phrase. In your examples, the article "la" is not optional. It is required because "classe" and "famille" are regular nouns.


When "Terre" is used as a proper noun it should be capitalized, as it should be here Duo! There is also the phrase "ciel et terre" which suggests the older sense. We wouldn't, of course, capitalize Sky which is silly, though it might be closer to Heaven. Basically I was taught we should distinguish Earth the planet as we know it in the Space Age from earth the physical/material/experiential realm as it used to be thought of. It's a rule more observed in its breaking, unfortunately . . .


I hate non-direct translations.

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