You know Numbers in English Grammar. Has two types Singular form and Plural form. Right? It has to be like that. In the song Human by the band the Killers why does the vocalist sing Are we Human or Are we dancer without plural s or the plural form of dancers (Noun - Parts of Speech again English Grammar)? Because we is first person plural and with that plural form of Noun goes. Like dancers in this case. Why is this intentional grammatical mistake? It's a well known, famous and hit song. It cannot be intentional grammatical mistake.

There must be an underlying reason for it. I wonder what is that reason?

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    You don't ask why "human" doesn't have an "s". That's because here it is used as an adjective, not as a noun. Is it possible that "dancer" is somehow also being used as an adjective (dance, dancer, dancest)? Oct 25, 2020 at 13:40
  • Did you really mean "It cannot be intentional grammatical mistake."? Why can't it be? Or did you mean "It could be an unintentional grammatical mistake."? (E.g. many songs contain "lay" where they should have "lie".) Oct 25, 2020 at 13:44

2 Answers 2


The Wikipedia article mentions this confusion about the lyrics.

Flowers is irritated that people don't quite seem to get the lyric, and that fans were unhappy with the song's dance beat. "It's supposed to be a dance song, it goes with the chorus," he says. "If you can't put that together, you're an idiot. I just don't get why there's a confusion about it."

So, I assume it sounded better that way


Poetry, song lyrics and advertising slogans are often ungrammatical, and it's almost always deliberate. It's more memorable, and it can move you past the ordinary meaning of the words.

In this case, "human" is both a noun and an adjective, so we can both say "are you human?" (the same way we would say "are you happy?"), using human as a state of being, or "are you a human (being)?"

Dancer is not used that way in ordinary speech, but it's being forced into that role in this song to serve as an opposition to "human", and suggest that "dancer" is a state of being. Nouns aren't often used that way, but it's not unheard of, as in the phrase "is it fish or fowl?"

English is a flexible language, in as much as nearly any word can be used as any type of word under the right circumstances --nouns become adjectives, verbs become nouns, and so forth.

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    Thank you. This answer is underrated. Flowers said that he chose the lyric very carefully, so I don't buy the "it just sounded better" explanations. This makes much more sense to me. As in: Is our fundamental character human or dancer? Perfect. Oct 18, 2021 at 15:04

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