Forum Rocket German German Grammar 17.9 Singular and Plural Words

17.9 Singular and Plural Words

70Augsburg

A section in 17.9 begins with:  "Then you have some where the noun seems singular in English but you use the plural to form the verb:"

But hat follows are a series of examples where just the opposite it true.  Example:
 
Die Umgebung ist sehr ruhig.
The surroundings are very quiet.

sfpugh

Yes you are right, they do seem to have it the wrong way round.
For me the tricky one is:
Wir sind das Volk.
We are the people.

The English is straight forward, "we" and "people" are both plural, but  "das Volk" looks like singular but "we" is plural.
I wonder what the rules are when you use sein  like this. 
I suppose in English you could say "we are a nation "

Apparently Wir sind das Volk was a political slogan.

70Augsburg

Thought of this:

"We Are The World"  - Sung by Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Lionel Richie and Ray Charles

sfpugh

Language is a funny thing, I suppose the words nation, world and Das Volk all have a kind of implied plural in them. They all sound a bit like a slogans when combined with "we are ..." :-)

On the other hand you could say "We are a People" making a plural word singular.
 

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