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    • Join Date: Jun 2007
    • Posts: 173
    #1

    a people

    Dear Teachers

    In a speech of president Obama's he used " we as a people". This "a people" thing is kind of confusing to me.

    Would somebody be kind enough to give me an explanaion please?

    kind regards
    udara

  1. Harry Smith's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Armenian
      • Home Country:
      • Armenia
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 2,932
    #2

    Re: a people

    Quote Originally Posted by udara sankalpa View Post
    Dear Teachers

    In a speech of president Obama's he used " we as a people". This "a people" thing is kind of confusing to me.

    Would somebody be kind enough to give me an explanaion please?

    kind regards
    udara
    He meant a whole nation....


    • Join Date: Feb 2009
    • Posts: 9
    #3

    Re: a people

    People, as a singular noun, can refer to a community of persons with something in common (nationality, religion, culture, language, etc.). When President Obama uses "we as a people," he is actually invoking the last speech of Dr. Martin Luther King, in which he so eloquently said, "...we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land."

    While Dr. King was referring to African-American people, President Obama is referring to all Americans as a people... but by brilliantly invoking Dr. King, he reminds us that "we as a people" have not always been united.

    Anyway, just substitute the word "people" with "group" and it will make sense: "We as a group will..."

    By the way, "we as a people" is also similar to the Preamble to our Constitution, which begins, "We the people, in order to form a more perfect union..." Using the phrase "we as a people" makes us think of the ideals inherent in our democracy and, by doing so, appeals to our better (and more noble) nature.

    Hope I've helped...


    • Join Date: Jun 2007
    • Posts: 173
    #4

    Re: a people

    I'm so thankful to both of you for your explanations. Not it's clear to me.
    Kind regards
    udara

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