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  5. "They are brothers."

"They are brothers."


March 24, 2018



Why is it "かれら"and not just "かれ"?


かれ is "he" かれら is "they"


かれら means "they" and かれ means he or his


かれ means he, かれの means his.


かれ means he or him.


彼ら is they (meaning males) think of ら like たち in this sense. 彼女たち is also they but for a group of females. 彼ら is also used in groups of people that have both males and females


Would it also work to omit the karera wa and simply use "kyoudai desu" or would that maybe imply that they're your own brothers?


Don't know why; it should be ok, given the Japanese penchant for omitting anything that can be deduced from context :o)

Maybe that's why Detective Conan was so popular ...


Basically saying "We" are brothers not "They"


I think it's context-sensitive; 兄弟です・きょうだいです by itself with no other context wouldn't particularly make sense… From what I've learned so far, it feels like です would be hard to translate literally with only 兄弟 to work off of. In an attempt to try though, if I'm not mistaken, I think it'd still be something like saying "brothers" but just in a confirmatory type of way? So I believe it'd sound a bit nonsensical if it's not linked to anything via extra words or context.

Times where I think it WOULD make sense is if someone already asked about something, like "what's your relation with them?" or maybe something like "are you cousins or brothers?" I think could both be responded to with 兄弟です。


です is like the English meaning of 'is' or 'are'. 兄弟です can make perfect sense as a sentence, meaning '(We/they/you) are brothers'. The subject of the sentence (i.e. Who the brothers are relative to the speaker) would depend on context, for example if you were talking about two men who just entered the room versus if you were introducing yourself and your brother to someone else.

In Duolingo, however, we are obviously only presented with the sentence and none of the context. This would be why we have to add in the 彼ら to indicate who we're actually talking about, so that an English translation can make sense.


I did that too and I don't understand why it's wrong either.

  • 1016

Yes, absolutely, you can omit the "karera wa" if by context it is clear whom you are talking about.


It depends on the context in which the sentence is said, but for the sake of Duolingo, 兄弟です is an accepted answer.


兄弟 is non-exclusive and translate to siblings as such "brothers" is an interresting choice?


Part of it could be that "siblings" isn't used too much in English, at least not casually. If they were both boys we would be most likely to use "brothers" in English. Even if they were mixed gender, many people would say "brother(s) and sister(s)" instead of "siblings".

Also, in Japanese there is the word 姉妹 which means "sisters", and I don't know if 兄弟 can be used for two female siblings, even if it could be used for mixed-gender siblings. I think maybe it can be used for "brothers" any time we would say that in English, or "siblings" in cases where we could also say "brother(s) and sister(s)", but it probably can't be used as a translation of "sisters". The English word "siblings" can be used to substitute all three groups in English, which might be why they want to emphasize the gender difference in the Japanese word, even if the entire difference isn't shown in this one sentence.


If you want to be clear that they are brothers you have to say 男の兄弟. There's also 女の兄弟 which is an another way to say sisters. Although compounds like 兄妹 and 姉弟 (either of which can also be read きょうだい BTW) get used much more, for some reason the former much more than the latter, oh and also 兄弟姉妹 for siblings which is probably what's getting shortened to 兄弟 as a sort of abbreviation? Oh 弟妹(ていまい)meaning younger siblings also exists and gets used a lot (possibly because there's a separate term for this in Korean?), but 兄姉 meaning older siblings gets used even less than 女の兄弟 (possibly because it's not polite enough to one's seniors?).


姉妹 would be read しまい tho?


Indivually the first kanji is older brother and the second one is younger brother so this probably should have no reference to female family members


You are correct about the kanji being individually the same ones as older brother and younger brother, but kyoudai does mean both "siblings" and "brothers". It can be used for mixed gender siblings as well as unspecified gender siblings






Can you use 彼たち instead of 彼ら?


You could, but 彼らis the more common version


Could we have said "かれたちはきょうだいです。" here instead?


In this context it would be right, but かれたち is not common and I prefer you to use it かれら(they for mix genders) and かれたち( they for only boys) because if you use かれたち you would get confused very easily (they are used only girls so you could use かれら or かのじよたち). Hope it helps All the best :)



【かれ -らは・きょうだいです】


why " 彼たちは兄弟です" can not be accept?


Why is かれらはおねえさんです not correct?


It would be かれらはおにいさんです (おねえさん is older sisters) and that's precisely why that would be incorrect. It would translate to "they are older brothers" which doesn't make sense. The word for brothers is きょうだい。(おにいさん is older brother) The word for sisters is しまい 。(おねえさん is older sister)

Therefore かれらはきょうだいです is the appropriate response for this exercise.


「おねえさん」means sisters, therefore it can't be correct, and if you wanna say that some people are sisters you should use「しまい」instead.


Latter part is correct, おねえさん means older sister not sisters :) Hope it helps


かれら means they, おねえさん means older sister and です means is/am/are. Your sentence means "they are older sisters". かれら means they, brothers means きようだい, です means are So latter means they are brothers. Hope it helps :') Great learning :') all the best


お姉さん is sister older.


What exactly is the difference between 彼ら and 彼たち?


Usually, ~たち is softer (can be politer in most cases) and ~ら is rougher.

I recommend this article if you are really interested:



Is it OK to emit は? can you use 彼ら兄弟です?


彼らは私の兄弟ですdon't work?


That is "They are my brothers."


Why duolingo don't accept 彼ら''が''兄弟です。?


This is what I came to ask. It seems to me that the subject is them so you would use が。


I did write 彼たち instead of 彼ら and I got it wrong . Is the use more specific for the first one?


I used 彼たち didn't work. たち vs ら?


I am aware that the ら on the end of 彼ら makes it a plural "they", but with 「兄弟」meaning brothers surely the fact that 彼 is plural is obvious from context and the ら can be omitted, right?


It's interesting how the kanji for "brothers" is simply 兄弟, which is just the kanji for "older brother" (兄) placed next to the kanji for "younger brother" (弟). Very cool!


I'm trying to use kanji and Duolingo didn't accept 兄弟 (kyoudai). Isn't it correct though? Jisho.org seems to confirm the kanji.


It is the right kanji


How can I translate "they" without gender differentiation?


After several on/off sessions of duolingo's Russian course, I thought I had mastered the tongue twister sentences...until this 'Karrera wa' combo


Breakdown: 彼らは(karera ha, they (male)+topic marker) 兄弟(kyoudai, siblings) です(desu, copula). 彼ら is used only for males, thats why they are brothers.

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