Distinguishing Human Beings from Being Human

Human Being vs Being Human

The order of words in a sentence can significantly impact its meaning, and sometimes, a simple switch can create an entirely different meaning. This is the case for the terms “human being” and “being human,” which are two phrases created from the same words but with different meanings.

What is a Human Being?

A human being refers to a culture-bearing primate, also known as a Homo Sapien, related to other apes but with more complex brain structures such as the prefrontal cortex, neocortex, and temporal lobes. This allows human beings to have abstract reasoning, problem-solving skills, sociality, culture, and articulate speech. Human beings also possess an erect frame, enabling them to use their hands more freely as manipulative members, allowing them to use tools more frequently. They are the only species known to build fires and cook their food. Human beings create complex social structures and develop customs, rituals, and social norms, which form the basis of human society. The study of human beings belongs to the discipline of anthropology.

What is Being Human?

Being human is a term used to describe sympathetic behavior or the simple act of presenting qualities unique to and typical of a human being. It is often used to represent the concept of a compassionate individual with a higher intellect than other animals. Being human can also imply the flawed nature of an individual.

What is the difference between Human Being and Being Human?

Although human being and being human are formed from the same words, they denote different ideas and should be used correctly in different contexts. Some key differences include:

  • A human being is a biological being, while being human is a quality.
  • Human being is a noun, while being human is a verb.
  • Human being can be used as a scientific term, while being human is used in more informal contexts where compassionate and sympathetic behavior needs to be implied.
  • A human being is not always seen as being human, whereas being human is considered a good quality of a human being.

Key Takeaways

  • A human being is a biological and culture-bearing primate with complex brain structures and unique physical and intellectual abilities.
  • Being human refers to the sympathetic, compassionate, and sometimes flawed nature of an individual, representing the qualities typical of a human being.
  • While human being and being human originate from the same words, they have different meanings and should be used correctly in various contexts.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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