Forum Rocket German German Grammar 17.9 Singular and Plural Words

17.9 Singular and Plural Words



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.


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.


Thought of this:

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


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.

Ask a question or post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here.
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket German trial here.