"They are not sheep."
Translation:Het zijn geen schapen.
This question is a bit of a stretch, but in the context where we use sheep as a human being that follow the others without thought, can the sheep in the sentence be singular? It would be like "they are not human", when we might refer to aliens. And in this case, it would be in a discussion like "They are not sheep, they'll know what to do" and the sheep would be singular. In short, I was wondering if it is possible to write a sentence in Dutch like "Ze zijn geen mens" or "Ze zijn geen schaap".
I would translate it as "They're not sheep". "They/These/Those are not sheep" are all correct possibilities, but not the same. "these" would not be my first choice because it has a very specific use, and is different from "they" and "those" (do these differences not exist in German?). "are no sheep" is also possible, but in English that's not equivalent to "are not sheep".
Thank you, Brian! Yeah, German has become a bit weird that way (I presume that it must historically worked just the same as English and Dutch) and both forms have pretty much collapsed: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demonstrative#Distal_and_proximal_demonstratives (scroll down a fair bit for the bit on German)
It looks like I've rather fallen victim to the Sapir-Worf hypothesis in this respect; learning English I could wrap my head around considering if something is proximal or distal just fine (which later helped me when I moved to Austria, because Austrian German absolutely preserves the distinction which German German seemed happy to lose), but it seems I can't keep the article and the demonstrative straight if distance is not the distinguishing feature. :p