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  5. "Naši lidé potřebují vodu."

"Naši lidé potřebují vodu."

Translation:Our people need water.

December 5, 2017

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DougFraser5

Collective nouns, though singular, take a plural adjective?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nemesis_NaR

"Lidé" is plural: http://prirucka.ujc.cas.cz/en/?slovo=lid%C3%A9

"People" is considered singular in English?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanFogart4

Czech doesn't even have collective nouns, does it? The word "people" is not singular, and though the dictionary calls it a "plural noun" even for "Human beings in general or considered collectively" they've wrong. It isn't plural either, nothing in general or considered collectively is plural; that's absurd. Collective is distinct from just singular or just plural. Mass nouns are the ones that are singular. Still it's effectively plural in ". . .people need water." If it were singular it'd be "Our people needs water." This sounds a bit absurd nowadays when, outside of certain politics. law, and such, one people includes all people, but consider if it were another collective noun: "Our team needs water." "Our team need water." Both are fine, though "our team" comes out as not collective but singular: "náš tým" -- I suppose that would mean it would be strange to say that it needs water in the first place, and it wouldn't agree with anything plural . . .


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VladaFu

Of course Czech has collectives. Many of them. Lidstvo, panstvo, nádobí, zrní, listí, cukroví.

You can even create you own, the -oví suffix is perfectly productive, even if old and bookish. You can create e.g. šperkoví for šperky. The dictionary does not know it, but I found it used in a book.

Collective nouns use strictly singular verbs in many languages and certainly in Czech but the subject-verb agreement needs to be considered in all languages separately. The metonymic shift is a peculiarity of (mostly British) English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dlehrke

No. It's not. British do the sometimes with sports teams I guess. Super annoying and tacky to me, they will say stuff like 'liverpool is doing a great job(falling over and pretending to be hurt)'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/manat297076

why potřebují and not potřebujou, or are they interchangeable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/endless_sleeper

Potřebují are more formal, preferred in written Czech, potřebujou more colloquial and used more in spoken language.

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