"We are not men."
Translation:Nosotros no somos hombres.
37 Comments This discussion is locked.
Nosotros and nosotras are okay because the speakers are NOT a bunch of men. That is, it would be Nosotros if the speakers are , say, a mix of men and women, and would be nosotras if the speakers are all women. Nosotros/as refers to the gender of the speakers, not the gender of hombres.
Estar describes a temporary state: to be right now. This can be used for being tired, upset, asleep, etc., or for being in a place.
Ser describes a stable state: to be forever, or in a category that could be forever.
I'm a musician: Soy un musico (even though later in life it's possible that I could stop being one).
I'm in LA: Estoy en LA.
I'm from LA: Soy de LA.
Every language has a standard syntax. Syntax is defined as the usual word order of a sentence. In English, the standard order is subject/verb or subject/verb/object. In Spanish, the order is subject/verb or subject/object/verb. In addition, because Spanish inflections (verb endings) indicate whether a subject is singular or plural–as well as first, second, or third person–the pronouns are not used unless the meaning of the sentence will be unclear. Following is a literal English translation of where to put the negation. English syntax places the negation after the verb ("I am not..."). Spanish syntax omits the pronoun when possible and places the negation before the verb ("Not am...").
This is a very tricky difference for non-native speakers. Basically, "somos" (from the verb "ser") typically refers to an inherent state of being, such as being children. "estamos" (from the verb "estar") refers more to what you are right now: "estamos aquí" (we are here). To illustrate the difference, "estoy enfermo" means "I am currently sick", whereas "soy enfermo" means something closer to "I am a sickly person".
What makes this tricky is that the "permanent/temporary" distinction doesn't always apply. For example, to say "He is dead" (a very permanent state of being), you say "él está muerto".
In most cases it is better to drop the pronoun ("nosotros"). Typically you only keep it when leaving it our makes the meaning ambiguous. For example, since "ustedes" and "ellos/ellas" use the same verb conjugations, you typically keep those pronouns. Similarly, when there are multiple groups of people, you typically put the pronouns to make it super clear. Here are some examples:
No somos hombres -- better to omit "nosotros", because "somos" makes it clear who you're referring to.
Ellos son hombres -- better to keep "ellos", because "son hombres" could also be "ustedes no son hombres".