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  5. "O povo fala com o rei."

"O povo fala com o rei."

Translation:The people talk to the king.

April 16, 2013

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instead of povo, can pessoas be used instead?


Yes, as pessoas falam com o rei. But povo sounds more nationalist...


I know the difference between people and peoples, but what I don't understand is why you can't say "the people talkS... "? I mean, it's a group (we, the people!) and the group speakS. Or" the community speaks". I see "people" as both plural of "person" - '[they] speak" - and as a group (singular of peoples) - "[it] speaks" . Please help me sorting this out! I am not a native English speaker.


Once you have to use the definite article "the" with "people" you are automatically referring to multiple people (plural) and not a group/set/unit (single) of people. In all likelihood you will never have need to refer to the latter case.


In English, if we change, the people with the corresponding pronoun it would be they (or we in your example) which would be, they talk (we talk).

The group, and a community become an it because those are each an entity, so it moves or it celebrates (like your body has several cells yet is one unit), but while there can be a lot of people in a group, the two concepts are not really the same, and people do not need to be in a group either. Additionally, the people in a group are members of the group. People in a neighborhood are neighbors.

Generally, person is the singular of people and persons/peoples are rare usages, and a people is even more rare.


Another way to consider this is that group, community, neighborhood are 3rd Person Singular while people, members, neighbors are 3rd Person Plural.

But of course, this is a bit different in Portuguese with "o povo" and as pessoas.


A group has a singular identity however many belong to it. People are never one. There is no sense of unity with the word. The neighborhood is a unity of people in a residential area. The people of the neighborhood are a group of individuals.


Why not, the people speaks to the king?


"speak to" should also be correct.


And also "speaks to", given that group singulars (like "the people", "a people", etc, same deal with "the government / a government" when acting as one entity) can have singular or plural verbs depending on the context. In this case, the people is one entity, speaking as one (as we know from the Portuguese, "o povo fala" and not "as pessoas falam").


In some English dialects (Appalachian English and AAVE) you may hear "people speaks" but standard American English considers "people" to be a collective plural noun requiring a verb in the plural.

The people speak, but politicians don't listen.


No, in this case, we're not using "the people" as a plural, but as a singular. In Standard American usage, it would be "the people speaks," just like "the team speaks."


In answer to your question, the correct usage for "people" or "the American people" is to use a plural verb with this plural collective.

The [American] people are going to have a presidential election in two years.


People referring to persons in general is a collective noun that takes a plural verb.

Ngrams Corpus of English (AmE): https://tinyurl.com/y4w3qxgk


What about "the people," which does not refer to persons in general, but to "one nation" or "one society," e.g. "The American people will not tolerate this rise in fascism any longer." Would you say "The American people is" or "the American people are"?


Thanks a lot, ChrisGull! I never knew when "peoples" could be used!) I'm not a native english speaker. The question is if it is the same thing with "povos" in Portuguese as "peoples" in English?Or Brazilians use "povos" in other meanings too?


When 'people' means a group consisting of all the persons who belong to a nation, religion, or race, it can be followed by a singular or plural verb, according to the MacMillan Dictionary. The people talks to the king is as correct as The people talk to the king.


As a native English speaker I have noticed that as decades go by there is an increasing tendency for people to say things like "the team are" instead of "the team is", which is the way I was taught at school. I was taught to say " the team is" and "the teams are", but now most people in England follow a collective noun with the plural verb conjugation rather than the singular. I guess it is all part of the gradual drift in language.


BrE is more flexible than AmE regarding collective nouns.


Yes, the people speaks/talks to the king - is perfectly correct but not accepted by Duolingo.


"A gente fala com o rei" Correct response: "O povo fala com o rei." I thought gente has the same meaning as povo - http://www.dicio.com.br/gente/

So, would it be also acceptable to say "a gente" instead of "o povo"?


Using a gente avoids using the first person plural, reducing spoken Portuguese to three endings in the present tense: falo, fala, falam. It would not be a substitute for "povo."

Nós falamos = a gente fala (colloquial)


The drop down hint specifies that "povo" means "people," singular, but if you treat it as singular in your translation it is rejected. Should "The people talks to the king" be accepted?


"People" is defined as a collective plural which entails using a verb conjugated in the plural form, not the "3rd person singular" construction.



I do not think this is the final verdict. In this link https://www.thefreedictionary.com/Collective+plural we see that in American English collective plural words can indeed be used with the singular form. Therefore I still think Duolingo should accept both singular and plural as correct.


Your link makes no mention of "people".

"People" is dissimilar from many other collective nouns as it is always treated as plural as shown in examples in the link in my previous post. Similar examples are found in Longman's dictionary (below)

Perhaps you can provide a link to a dictionary that shows "people" used with a singular verb in standard English.



Dear Emeyr - I understand your point and I am not a linguist and have not found examples that include people. However, I think it depends on how the word people is used. See this link: http://learnersdictionary.com/qa/Collective-Nouns-and-Verb-Agreement If the people speaking with the king are acting as a collective unit - then speaks would be correct - if it is some of the people or people one after the other speaking with the king then the plural form should be used (in my interpretation of the grammar).


Dear Emeyr, Thanks for the enlightenment. You are obviously right that it is rare to use the singular form opeople speaks/talks. I was not thinking of the Appalachian tongue, but I note from your statistic that the singular forms were more widely used 200 years ago, so it might be archaic form.


Hi Mike: "People" is like the collective noun "police". Both are used in standard English with plural verbs. Here is a graph showing frequency of use of "people" with both 3rd person singular and plural verbs.

ngrams Corpus of English: https://tinyurl.com/y9vm9ju3

You might be interested in reading about the mountain people in rural Appalachia where "people talks/speaks" is part of the vernacular.


ex: Collective noun phrases (wiki):

• Some people makes it from fat off a pig.
• People's not concerned.

Looking at youtube where speakers of Appalachian English discuss their "language", you will see a mixture of pride and a feeling of victimization due to "preconceito linguistico", a topic many Brazilians are familiar with.


,,O povo" (singular) means ,,people" (plural)? I guess there is not plural version in portuguese like ,,os povos"?


Think about this "povo" as a group of people, and "povos" as many group of people.


No... we have o povo and os povos, like in English, where there's also peoples


Mas as pessoas na salla de jantar.


'o' is muted by male speaker, not by the female one on this page. This inconsistency is another failing of this app, like silly little bird that keeps irritating users like me.

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