Which is preferable sentence:

We are a human after all.


We are human after all.

without a

From my perspective both looks the same, or a can point on human definition

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  • 4
    We (plural) cannot be a human (unless it's the royal 'we'!). 'Human' is an adjective in the second version. – Kate Bunting Aug 19 '18 at 7:30
  • Yes. To clarify, if you want to use "human" as a noun, the sentence will have to be "We are humans..." (Not that I ever heard that outside of science fiction though...) – Mr Lister Aug 19 '18 at 7:32
  • Daft Punk used "We are human after all." It's literally a song lyric. Now, Neil Armstrong maintained he said "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." – Elliott Frisch Aug 19 '18 at 7:42
  • They mean different things. Without knowing the intended meaning, we can’t tell you definitively. – Lawrence Aug 19 '18 at 9:11

The sentence without an indefinite article uses "human" as an adjective. The sentence with an indefinite article uses "human" as a noun. That is the only noticeable difference, and neither is more "preferable" than the other; it all depends on how you want to use the word "human." See here.

(I will note, however, that "We are [no indefinite article] human after all" sounds much more natural and idiomatic.)

  • It would be worth noting that the indefinite article in this case should be plural, as should the noun humans. The article in that case is of course the zero article. – oerkelens Aug 19 '18 at 18:00
  • @oerkelens Um, how can an indefinite article be plural? I've never heard of as or ans... – user305707 Aug 19 '18 at 18:05
  • @oerkelens What you most likely mean to say is that the article should be removed entirely and the sentence should just say, "We are humans after all." – user305707 Aug 19 '18 at 18:07
  • @oerkelens Articles are always singular, to my understanding. – user305707 Aug 19 '18 at 18:07
  • 1
    "The article in that case is of course the zero article." oerkelens in a roundabout way is saying there is no indefinite article when a noun is plural. Which is like "duh", we know! :) – Mari-Lou A Aug 19 '18 at 18:40

'We' is plural so it would mean the sentence, 'We are human after all' is correct, as well as 'We are humans after all' would also be correct.

If you were to include the 'a' then you could use 'I am a human after all'

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