Keli‘i I have been wondering the same. I've only learned of po‘e as a singular collective noun to be used with the particle ka, otherwise, nā po‘e would indeed mean multiple groups of peoples. I'm really confused why they interchange it here but do not indicate a change in the english for people.
It's also curious that they decided to switch to nā in the lesson when saying the people "want" versus like. Why switch to the plural particle for that?
This is one of a building list of reasons i'm not liking duolingo. No little mini-lessons or cliffnotes from the lesson creators, nothing...
As a rule of thumb, a verb, description or predicate often comes first in Hawaiian sentences with the subject coming afterward. In this case, try to view the english as "the desire of the people"
Makemake ka po‘e i ka hale. can be interpreted as The desire of the people is toward the house.
In other words, the people like the house :)
n. People, persons, personnel, population, assemblage, group of, company of. (Gram. 10.4.) ʻEwalu ka poʻe kaua (FS 97), eight groups of warriors.
Plural marker. (Gram. 10.4.) Ka poʻe wāhine, the women. Poʻe hale, houses. Poʻe nalo meli (Lunk 14.8), swarm of bees.
Var. of poʻi 5. (Kep. 157.)
n. A native purslane (Portulaca selerocarpa), with narrow, succulent leaves which have many hairs in their axes and white flowers.