I just want to understand what the speaker meant in this sentence.

I think there is nothing more important in forming a human being than your family.

  • 1
    I'd like to understand the sentence, too... Where did you find it? Have you quoted it exactly? It makes no sense to me... The process of "forming a human being" is between two people, only, not "family".
    – Catija
    May 22, 2015 at 7:44
  • Also, please do not make new questions, you can edit your old question using the "edit" button.
    – Catija
    May 22, 2015 at 7:45
  • 1
    possible duplicate of forming a human being
    – Catija
    May 22, 2015 at 7:46
  • I'm guessing that your problem is with "forming a human being". If you understand this expression, then PLEASE specify exactly where your problem lies. Please double check that the sentence cited is correct, and mention if the speaker is an English speaker or a non-native speaker. PLEASE check the meaning of forming in a dictionary and share your research. Your chances of receiving an answer will redouble.
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 22, 2015 at 8:00
  • This question is a "little" bit clearer than its duplicate....
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 22, 2015 at 8:01

2 Answers 2


It means that family is the most important thing for someone growing up.

Although without context, I take "forming a human being" to mean them growing as a fetus; this context makes it so it talks about the child growing up. It's not so much the physical growth as the mental/emotional one that is stressed here.


To understand this expression you have to realise that the author is not being strictly literal in the sense of just the physical existence of a living human body.

I believe that they are using the term "human being" as shorthand for "everything that goes to make up a person, their physical body, their personality, their outlook on life and the way they integrate with humanity as a whole", and probably many other things besides.

If you take the meaning like that, then they are saying that "family" is the most important factor in influencing the outcome of the whole human person.

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