"The people want more money."
Translation:La gente quiere más dinero.
For me "gente" is always sing. So:
"La gente quiere más dinero." : Gente is the subject of the sentence, so "quiere" (singular)
"Son gente buena" : the subject is (as always omitted) "ellos/ellas"=they so plural, and gente is still sing. otherwise it would be "buenaS".
So it can seem weird to have "ellos son" associated with a singular (gente buena) but I think we have to see "gente buena" as an expression may be.
I think that is because 'gente' is like 'people' in English and can refer to a general (singular) group of people, like "the rich people", but can also apply to an amount of people (plural), like "those people".
I think that, in this example, it is using the word 'gente' to mean the people in general (singular), whereas in your other example, where specific people were being talked about, it would use the plural rules.
I don't know if you can say 'gentes' in Spanish like you can (but rarely) say 'peoples' in English, if so, I would think that both "Las gentes quieren más dinero" and "Son gentes buenas" would be acceptable translations. Any help anyone?
This is like saying "They are good people." Although this example makes reference to more than one person, it groups them together as good people. Therefore "Es buena gente." means "He/She is a good person." and "Son buena gente." means "They are good people (collectively)." Note too the presence of the adjective in front of the noun in this case. :)
The people are not "he/she", but "it". And it is actually the same in english in most cases, though many native english speakers make this mistake.
For example, it is "the group buys candy". i.e "it" (the group) buys candy. A lot of people would say "the group buy candy" thinking of the group as "they", but technically this is wrong, even in english.
I've noticed that, particular when referring to bands, where you have a singular proper noun (which refers to the group of people) followed by a plural verb (e.g., "Oasis have announced a new record...". Sometimes we have to just accept that things in another language don't correspond exactly to ours.
Even in American English, it depends on context. That's the funny thing about collective nouns (df: a set of "things" (plural) that is singular in form but plural in meaning). So, you can say either "The family is very unhappy" or The family are very unhappy." Depending on context, either way could be right.
For the sake of argument/enlightenment....we use 'people' in English to indicate more than one, and 'peoples' as in 'peoples of the world' to indicate various collections of people...Australians, Chinese, indigenous, etc. So would Spanish ever extend 'las gentes' in such a manner?
This(if you look at the noun) is symbolizing a single mass of people. All together they are the single people of say...America. So, to clarify, when you use "gente" instead of "personas" you are talking about a group of people who are together as one... making it singular. And if this is singular then you use quiere.
Having checked several sources, online and in authoritative paper dictionaries, in Spanish, whether we like it or not, "la gente" is feminine singular, hence the singular "quiere" in this sentence. In a sentence such as "Many people visit me each day", "people" is feminine plural and the sentence could be translated as "Muchas personas me visitan cada día" with the plural "visitan". This is not the direct equivalent of English. Translating "La gente quiere más dinero" back into English would require a plural verb "The people want more money", and not the singular verb as in "The people wants more money".