So, I have a debate with my associate. We are debating whether one can say something like "I am student." It was argued that this was proper and that indeed you can use a verb followed by a noun without an article or definite/ indefinite article. I had argued that we can say "we are students", but their thought was that you can even use a subjunctive or a present indicative then immediately follow it with a noun. Such as "We are student."

We are adapting a script to a dubbed movie and my job is to give advice on how a native speaker in America would express the idea. I wondered about this question for awhile because us natives can say "I am home. / We're home." but of course we don't mean that we are in fact a place where one lives! So I am curious about this question.

Furthermore, they pointed out some instances on the internet where people used this term and they have "Googled" many results. I was perplexed because I never say this nor have I heard others who live here say it. Can someone help articulate this problem for them? Is "I am student." proper English?

  • 5
    Please visit English Language Learners
    – Kris
    Jun 16, 2015 at 11:51
  • 1
    For jobs, occupations, and professions the indefinite article is nearly always used .A: "What do you in life?" B: I'm a(n) janitor / doctor / actor / student etc.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 16, 2015 at 12:13
  • Who is doing the site a disservice by upvoting here? Jun 16, 2015 at 13:09
  • Yes, it is. For first-year Russian students who are taking English as a second language or 2D Russian mobsters in hack movie scripts.
    – Robusto
    Jun 16, 2015 at 16:01
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    @Araucaria are you not going to undelete your answer? It might persuade users to reopen the post.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 17, 2015 at 5:45

2 Answers 2


"I am student" is not grammatically correct as "student" is a noun.


Note that meme-like inside jokes exist around the web where the phrase is used incorrectly on purpose (KEEP-CALM-I-AM-STUDENT)

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    Also: I am Student, hear me roar! Jun 16, 2015 at 13:04
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    @EdwinAshworth Aso "I am student oriented in my approach to teaching" Jun 16, 2015 at 14:27
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    @Araucaria if you say "I am Student Services Manager", there is an implied "the" in that sentence, otherwise it would be grammatically incorrect.
    – Othya
    Jun 16, 2015 at 15:02
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    @MSalters "The former should be 'student-oriented' ". Not according to M N Hedge in 'A Coursebook on Scientific and Professional Writing'. Have you an authority backing up your claim? Jun 16, 2015 at 16:31
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    Counting Google occurrences doesn't really help since it will pull back all matching phrases regardless of context or dialect. The example that you used ("I am Student Services Manager") yields very different statistics to the original question ("I am student"). This is because where there is a single role (i.e. one Student Services Manager, one Captain, etc.) then saying "I am Student Services Manager." or "I am Captain." can be valid (but "I am the ..." is usually better). However, this does not translate to "I am student." because it is not a role occupied by a single named individual. Jun 24, 2015 at 11:42

No. The word student is a noun not an adjective, so you would say "I am a student.".

There is no plural for "a" or "the" in English, thus "We are students." is good English.

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    As Reg Dwight has said, '[W]e write stuff in comments that is too obvious to qualify for an answer. [This] is not really a topic for a site for linguists and etymologists, and we don't want it to become a topic.' // 'Some' is often regarded as a ( functional equivalent of a) plural indefinite article. Jun 16, 2015 at 13:11
  • @EdwinAshworth: Certainly not in this case: "We are some students" is a correct sentence but not the plural of "I am a student".
    – MSalters
    Jun 16, 2015 at 14:52
  • The plural for the is the. Jun 16, 2015 at 16:00
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    You have two thes in your sentence, @PeterShor
    – pazzo
    Jun 18, 2015 at 15:42

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