Home » Commonly Confused » Homo sapiens

Homo sapiens

Homo sapiens, the scientific name of the human species, is singular. “I am only one Homo sapiens,” you would say. It means, literally, “wise man,” or “knowing man” (sapiens is a present participle), which shows you how full of ourselves we are. In Latin, the plural would be homines sapientes, but in English the plural seems to have settled down to Homo sapiens, the same as the singular.

There is no such term as “Homo sapien.” This frequent error comes from our simplistic English assumption that any word ending in an S must be plural.

Advertisements

One thought on “Homo sapiens

  1. Pingback: The Editor » Len, Lens, Lenses

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s