Are they three?
Can it be in proper English, things, or is it more correct to use "Are there three?" or "Are there three of them?"

Is it hypercorrection or some are more natural than the other ones?

  • Can you explain them in an answer, please user4701?
    – Quidam
    Oct 4, 2019 at 11:55

1 Answer 1


The construction "We are [a number]", referring to a group of people, is unusual but possible, as in Wordsworth's poem 'We are seven' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Are_Seven . I've never heard it used with inanimate objects.

  • "We are one" is a far more familiar expression, but isn't meant as a literal statement. "They are three" would usually be referring to say twins, and a rounded measure of age rather than a count. Your example is from the realms of lit, and I think that's where it belongs (especially the SF and mediaeval debonnairing-do genres). But good spot. Oct 4, 2019 at 16:45

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