Guide to group-word verb conjugations?
Anyone know of a resource for clearing up an issue with how group words are treated with regards to the verb conjugation. It appears that some words that refer to groups are treated as they(3rd pers plural) and other words that are very similar are treated as It (3rd pers Singular).
Is there some formula/rule, or does it need to be memorized? The words I am referring to are like todos/as, nadie, etc etc. It seems a little inconsistent to me.
It depends on the "group word", but generally it's quite similar to English. If you're considering the group as a unified collection, it's singular. If you emphasizing that the group is made up of individual units, it's plural.
Nadie is singular. Nadie está aquí. Like "no one" or "nobody" in English.
Ninguno de las personas is plural. Ninguno de las personas están aquí. Like "none of the people" in English.
Todo el mundo is singular. Todo el mundo está aquí. Like "everyone" in English.
Todas las personas is plural. Todas las personas están aquí. Like "all of the people" in English.
Thanks for that, it seems a bit clearer now. I will try and apply this in my future studies. One question though, for "everyone" do you use todo el mundo, or todos, as I think todos would be more common, and if so does its verb conj become "they" plural? I could swear during one lesson recently I hade Nadie singular and todos plural but got todos wrong because I followed the rule (as I thought) for Nadie. Thanks.
"Everyone" can be translated as either "todo el mundo" or "todos". They do use different plurality though. Todo el mundo quiere ser mi amigo. Todos quieren ser mi amigo. You can think of "todos" as an abbreviation for "todas las personas", if that helps keep the plurality straight in your head :)
I've heard both variants used with pretty much equal frequency [Spanish doesn't seem to have as much of a distaste for extra syllables as we do in English :) ] , but I'll leave it to a native speaker to give you a better answer as to which is more common, or if there are situations where one is preferred over the other.