My friend and I got into a discussion whether the word "Human" in the title of the 1948 book "No Longer Human" by Osamu Dazai is a noun or an adjective. I think it is an adjective and my friend thinks it is a noun because it is a noun in the original Japanese title. Any help would be appreciated.

  • 5
    A noun would ordinarily warrant an indefinite article. I would also say it's an adjective.
    – user405662
    Nov 3, 2022 at 11:10
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    "No longer human" could mean there is no person who is taller. It all depends on context.
    – Stuart F
    Nov 3, 2022 at 13:42
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    May I ask: Why does it matter?
    – Lambie
    Nov 3, 2022 at 14:17
  • It's an adjective in the English title no longer human. 人間失格 translates as human disqualification. In that translation, human is an attributive noun, which functions like an adjective (cf. duck in duck soup). But I don't know how it works in Japanese. Nov 3, 2022 at 14:51
  • "tinfoil hat But some translations are not word-for-word. Cambridge clearly indicate that they consider 'human' to have at least reconverted to adjective (how it entered the lexicon according to Etymon in say 'It's very human to have regrets about the past.' And 'I'm only human.' Nov 3, 2022 at 20:47

1 Answer 1


Human in 'No Longer Human' is an adjective.

If it were a noun, it would take an indefinite article.

Adjective- I am only human. We are only human.

Noun- I am a human. He is a human. We are humans. They are humans.

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