"Das Personal ist neu."

Translation:The staff are new.

June 5, 2013

55 Comments


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

In English, "personnel" is plural, so I guess the translation should really be "The personnel ARE new", not "IS new". Right?

June 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hutcho66

Personnel is a collective noun in English, so can be considered singular or plural depending on context.

In German, Personal is strictly singular.

June 14, 2013

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

In English, i only remember hearing personnel being used strictly as plural. This threw me.

February 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mooga1

Is there any indication that it is a strictly singular word or do you need to learn that with the word along with its gender?

February 16, 2014

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

You can also translate it to English plural (personnels) or your own language and then see if that works. In reply to others: How would you translate this sentence using the word "staff" instead of "personnel"? I would use "staff is new" exclusively, but I'm not a native English speaker.

February 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

We would say "The staff is new." or "The personnel is new." as a collective noun indicating a group or department of people. In America personnels would be indicating the personnel of more than one company or organization. In the military, personnel is already plural indicating all the soldiers of that military branch and would be used without an 's' at the end and with a plural verb. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/personnel

I think in British that it is used with a plural verb? http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/personnel

February 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dan.vegan4life

In the UK I have never heard either staff or personnel used as singular nouns, they are both always used as plurals.

You can say "we have new staff/personnel" but I can't imagine anyone ever saying "we have A new staff/personnel" except to refer to just "one new staff member" in which case the fact that it is only one new member of staff would be made clear.

June 6, 2018

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

how she pronounce Personel?? like K Qersonel? weird..

December 2, 2013

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

Yeah, it was utterly incomprehensible.

August 24, 2014

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

In English personnel is used as a collective noun. It means a group of employees or workers. "The personnel is new." would mean you have just replaced your entire staff. I think that is what the German "Das Personal ist neu." means. It does NOT mean "The worker is new."

June 28, 2013

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

Doesn't "das" indicate singular?

November 22, 2013

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

No, it does not. You can use "das" in German for both singular and plural.

  • Das ist ein Mann >> this is a man (singular);
  • Das sind Männer >> these are men (plural);

But in our current case it is singular "Das ... ist ...", so that I do not understand your question.

September 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dan.vegan4life

In this sentence "das" is being used as a definite article, "the", and so it is singular.

When used as a pronoun (this, these, that, those), "das" can been singular or plural but that isn't how it's being used in this sentence.

June 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Osama0

Why is it not pronounced "Perzonal"? Is this a mistake?

December 1, 2013

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

Collective nouns are generally singular in american english and plural in british english

March 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zach1337

I'm American, but I would definitely use "The personnel are new" and not "The personnel is new". I didn't even know you could say the latter.

August 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

In American English you have a choice to consider the entire staff as one group and use singular or to talk about the people of the group as plural. It is used as plural when speaking of military personnel. Scroll up for dictionary sites in my other post.

February 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janice10375

As American, I would agree. The only time is see as singular s mor like what the staf as a unit. More like a comment o what they do as a collective.

March 5, 2018

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

Would a native speaker please clarify whether "das Personal" refers to a single member of staff, or the entire staff (multiple people)? dict.cc says the latter.

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

The entire staff as a singular group.

August 24, 2014

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

'The member of staff is new' was marked as incorrect. I would suggest this should be correct as it clearly indicates the singular subject.

November 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

The staff (as a singular group) is new. This is not one person.

August 24, 2014

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

Why doesn't "that staff" work, aside from it sounding odd in English?

August 31, 2013

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

When "Das" precedes a noun as an article it does not translate to "that", but neuter "the". If it was just "Das ist neu" it would be "That is new", but "Das Personal" always means "The staff".

October 10, 2013

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

Ah! This rule clears up a lot of confusion for me, thank you! So if you want to say "this/that" when referring to a neuter noun, I take it you must use "dieses"?

August 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MVBasler85

In American English we use the singular (is) for 'staff' but plural (are) for 'personnel'. Probably carry over from their origin language.

October 4, 2016

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

In British English 'staff' is a plural. :)

January 8, 2017

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

This scolded me for using the singular instead of the plural even when the sentence said "DAS Personal IST neu

December 19, 2013

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

It's probably a translation error; you should report it. "Das Personal ist neu" is singular.

September 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

It is a singular group of people. If you translated it as one person that would be wrong.

February 27, 2015

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

Weird, didn't happen for me. What did you write?

July 7, 2014

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

Can anyone explain what a single member of staff would be in German?

September 20, 2014

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

das Mitglied des Personals,; das Mitglied der Belegschaft;

der Arbeitnehmer; der Mitarbeiter; der Angestellte

November 22, 2014

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

Why doesn't "that" instead of "the" work?

October 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

"Das" means "that" when it is by itself, but when it is used with a noun it means "the". To say That + noun, you would have to use "dieses" for a neuter noun.

February 27, 2015

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

When you hover over "neu", duo says it can mean "young" as well, but it didn't accept the answer with young, should that be an acceptable answer or "neu" cannot be used with this meaning in this context? If latter, then why is "young" listed as possible translation for "neu" and what would be the word then?

July 31, 2015

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

Can personnel not be an employee? I tried "employee" for kicks, and it was marked wrong. Is there a proper usage for employee then?

September 23, 2015

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

What about staff as in the long thick stick?

October 4, 2016

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

What is this pink sign

March 12, 2017

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

What is wrong with "staffer". It is widely used as a "member of the staff".

June 11, 2017

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

Personnel and crew are synonyms

July 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thedoctar10

The meaning of the German sentence seems ambiguous considering the English translation. Does it mean, this staff member is new', or thatthe team of staff members are new'.

June 29, 2018

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

das Personal is "the staff" -- a collective noun. It can't refer to an individual staff member.

June 29, 2018

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

In English we can say that "The staff are new" or "The staff is new".

January 16, 2019

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

Because, for me, personnel or staff, is plural, I went for "the servant is new" and was verflixed....report that owl!

October 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

Sorry, this is not British English, but German and the collective noun for staff is singular in German.

August 24, 2014

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

Until reading this thread, I wasn't aware that the Americans used the singular for collective nouns. I'm English and would probably use the plural (although I've never consciously considered it). Very interesting.

December 8, 2014

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

This plural vs. singular in English is really confusing. Here are some examples about using "class" and "team" both in singular and in plural. http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/collectivenoun.htm

I like the German way - collective nouns are strictly singular. Nice and easy :)

December 9, 2014

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

Collective nouns are also strictly singular in Hungarian and probably in other languages too, as it is a silly idea to treat them as prular in the first place.

January 6, 2018

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

why is "the staff member is new" wrong, "personnel" and "staff member" are the same, and staff member is more generally used in english

May 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

Because this is not one member, but a group and yet that word for this group is singular. Even in English, collective nouns can be used as singular although British commonly use them as plural.

August 24, 2014

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

Why isn't "the servants are new" correct?

October 23, 2014

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

Because "the servants" translates as die Diener. I don't know about in German, but in English "servant" is a very outmoded word, to be honest, especially in a working environment that uses expressions like "personnel" and "staff"

December 8, 2014

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

If this sentence has a plural, the German sentence should have 'sind' instead of 'ist'! Am i correct?

March 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mickeybook16

I've been reading people saying that collective nounsin English can be conjugated as both singular and plural and some saying the difference lies in American vs. British, but as for myself, in Canada, I've only ever heard collective nouns being in singular just like in French. It might be because of this second language that influence the English grammar but I was truly convinced conjugating with the plural was simply not possible.

July 28, 2019
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