[we / you] men are

Is it possible to talk about 1st or 2nd person groups without using the words for "we" and "you (all)", just by conjugating the verb? I know this question may leave aside languages without (or with little) conjugation, I'm sorry :p

It's possible (and idiomatic) to do so in Catalan and Spanish:

Catalan: els homes som / els homes sou
Spanish: los hombres somos / los hombres sois

But it's not in other Romance languages afaik:

(I'm not sure about commas in these examples, natives will check)
Portuguese: nós homens somos / vocês homens são
French: nous, les hommes, sommes / vous, les hommes, êtes
Italian: noi uomini siamo / voi uomini siete
 
  • Perseas

    Senior Member
    Greek
    In Greek it is possible to drop the personal pronoun, as you can deduce the person from the ending of the verb:
    (εμείς) είμαστε = we are
    (εσείς) είστε = you are

    (εμείς) οι άντρες είμαστε (lit. we the men are)
    (εσείς) οι άντρες είστε (lit. you the men are)
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Is it possible to talk about 1st or 2nd person groups without using the words for "we" and "you (all)", just by conjugating the verb?
    In Russian it is. It is possible even without conjugating the verb (i.e. in the past tense, where it's inflected only by number and gender). However, it will never work like in your example. A pronoun necessarily replaces the whole noun phrase; if some specification must be made, it's made by an isolated noun phrase ("we, men,...") which cannot be kept if the main noun phrase (or the pronoun) is deleted. And as long as there's some overt subject not expressed by the 1st or 2nd person pronouns, the verb will invariably have the 3rd person form.

    So the structure like in the Church Slavonic "Pater Noster" (~"oh-father our, which you-are in Heaven...") is impossible in Russian (I mean even if we ignore the fact that "to be" has only one form in the present tense, which is normally omitted as a copula or an auxilary to the top of it).
     
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    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Dutch: "wij, mensen, zijn" is possible, but not "jullie mensen". I even think it is a real apposition as a matter of fact, so not the phenomenon you are referring to... I cannot think of anything else right now. We cannot drop the subject as far as I can see...
     

    Yendred

    Senior Member
    Français - France
    French: nous, les hommes, sommes / vous, les hommes, êtes
    Indeed, in French, it's not possible to omit nous or vous in these cases.
    "les hommes sommes" :cross: and "les hommes êtes" :cross: are incorrect.

    Concerning commas, I would rather write it this way:
    nous les hommes, sommes / vous les hommes, êtes :tick:

    Note that nous and vous are omitted though when the subject is multiple, for example:
    les hommes et moi sommes / les hommes et toi êtes :tick:
    although you can less formally do the repetition:
    les hommes et moi, nous sommes / les hommes et toi, vous êtes :tick:
     
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