"The majority is seventy years old."
Translation:Majoritatea au șaptezeci de ani.
Is this correct? In the english sentence "is" is used because "the majority" is singular. So is "mojoritatea" (as a word) in romanian, but here they use "au", and not "are". WHY?
Actually, in both languages, people seem to be using singular verbs when "majority" is used in place of an uncountable noun, and plural verbs when used in place of a countable one:
The majority of the food has gone bad.
The majority of the sandwiches have gone bad.
Also, the verb number can be used to place emphasis on either the individual or the group itself. Here are some examples of this claim:
https://dexonline.ro/articol/Despre_majoritate (written by a well-known Romanian literary critic and language purist)
I don't know what the Romanian Academy has to say on this and there's no corresponding English authority to turn to.
'the majority of the sandwiches' still is singular. The majority of the sandwiches has gone bad is the only sentence which sounds natural to me. In Dutch we have the same way of saying it, and in Dutch the only correct way to say it is with a singular verb. Even if many people put a plural verb, that is grammatically wrong and I am pretty sure it is the same in English. I would really like to know if it really isn't like that in Romanian either... this sounds so weird to me...
To me, it seems more natural to use the plural in both languages. So if I were to correct something, I would change the English sentence to "The majority are seventy years old". And leave the Romanian sentence as it is, using "au". This is because we are referring to a collection of individuals, in which most of them are seventy years old.
It's not like the majority itself was somehow formed seventy years ago... is it?
I don't question the english, but in Italian, a latin language as Romanian, collective nouns are rigorously singular and the verb is conjugated according to the subject, irrespective of how many components the collective nouns refers to. So "la maggioranza ha" (the majority has). Therefore the question is: in Romanian collective nouns are singular or plural?