EXACTLY! THIS MAKES PERFECT SENSE! WHY DON'T THEY MAKE MORE YELLOW SUITCASES? LINGOTS FOR EVERYONE!!!!
Malette is a diminutive of malle (which is a big trunk rather than a portable suitcase).
In France, when they say "Malette", they mean it as "suitcase", and sometimes like "diplomatic bag" without specifying, "mallette/valise diplomatique".
Yes, I was just clarifying the connection to 'malle' mentioned above. 'Malle' (trunk) became 'mala' in Spanish, and in both languages the word for suitcase arose as a diminutive of these ('malette' or 'maleta').
Hey that was close. I just discovered another 'false friend' : Maleta = bag, suitcase; Mallet (used for hitting things = Mazo + descriptor. Guess my construction Spanish isn't so hot after all ;)
So my dear Spaniards, If I said Maleta in Spain, would people generally refer to that more as luggage for travel or also for a backpack or even a shopping bag? Thanks in advance ;)
Only luggage for travel.
A backpack would be "una mochila".
A shopping bag would be "una bolsa de la compra", usually just "una bolsa" if the context is clear.
Additionally, a briefcase can be called "un maletín" or "una cartera"; without context, cartera is ambiguous, because it can also refer to a wallet.
Mallette is the French word for suitcase, just dropped the "e" and replace it with "a" since I speak French that was an easy one for me. Spanish should be easy for anyone who speaks French.
Romance languages are great! I've studied French and Portuguese, so I'm enjoying all the cognates. :-)
If you click on "maleta" in the sentence, DL shows it to mean suitcase, bag, case, but yet they marked me wrong when I used case.
Luggage is plural, isn't it? Maleta or valija is singular therefore I expected Baggage as a solution. Sadly it is not accepted here.
To me baggage is also plural. I guess we have to think of it more like clothes and fish. They can be used either way. :)
Baggage and luggage are both mass nouns (or uncountable nouns, which is odd if you think about it, since they refer to things that are obviously discrete and countable), so they're always grammatically singular, even when you're talking about multiple items.
I believe that while that is true for American English, but goes the other way for British speakers
I'm not sure what you mean by "goes the other way". I'm a New Zealander, so my English is more British than American, and I've lived in the UK.
I don't think I've ever heard anyone use either baggage or luggage as a count noun. I would never refer to, say, "ten baggages/luggages" - I'd always use the singular to refer to a collection of any number of individual items.
Is that not standard usage in both British and American English?
Right, I think I've figured out the source of confusion.
Collective nouns (like band or government) are indeed treated differently in British and American Englishes, and there's a good explanation on Wikipedia:
But luggage is (I think) a mass noun, and those are always grammatically singular.
When you say "every piece of baggage...", the noun is "piece", which is definitely countable and singular, so I don't think it would ever be acceptable to use "are" in that case.
The question is whether you could ever say "the baggage are...", and I'm not entirely sure of the answer, or whether there's a US/UK difference. To me, "the baggage is..." seems more natural in every case I can think of.
Your example with the band is a bit different, in that it's a group of people, and they could each individually begin to play, so the singular and the plural can both work. It's a bit hard to think of a case where each piece of baggage acts individually.
I used to watch Craig Ferguson on American television and now I watch Doctor Who on BBC America. On those shows they say things like "CBS are," "the government are," "UNIT are," etc. It used to really grate on my nerves because in America we would use "is" as the verb in each of those instances. Now that I have seen so much and understand they are using proper UK English, I've gotten over it.
An American would say "The band begins to play," but I have read British literature that says "The band begin to play."
I know that an American would say "Every piece of baggage is . . . " I suspect that it was once grammatically acceptable for a British speaker to say "Every piece of baggage are . . ."
The difference is in whether baggage and the verb that agrees with it are considered singular. It is possible that my understanding is outdated or entirely mistaken.
I am quite confident that "the band begin to play" is not acceptable in American English.
Perhaps the example I gave could have been better - but I was trying to get across the idea that a singular noun used to describe a group of things (like "band," and maybe baggage) is always considered singular in American English, but occasionally plural in British English.
You left out the verb. This is a declaration of the color in a complete sentence.
I thought it was right because I was still describing the suitcase. Guess I was wrong, thanks.
Hi Mega_Bobby Have a read of the comments above where there's a bit of discussion re case/suitcase. I wrote as you did and when it was marked wrong, I reported it saying my answer should be accepted. So 'my case is yellow' is not wrong
Quite right. You wouldn't carry your clothes in a handbag when you travel, would you?