"There are billions of us on earth."
Translation:Nous sommes des milliards 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 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 ☺).
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.
From what I can see, it is simply the way it is expressed unless words such as "the" or "this" are specified.
Read the third entry here: http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/anglais-francais/earth/577549 & here: http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/anglais-francais/earth/577549
It's just the way "on earth" is expressed.
Il y a des milliards de nous sur la terre seems as if it should be accepted also.
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.