"Cosa pensa il popolo?"

Translation:What does the people think?

June 18, 2013



What is the difference between "la gente" and "il popolo"? I thought, "il popolo" are the citizens of a state ("il popolo italiano"), which would translate "the italian people (singular!)". "La gente" are the people on the street (plural). If this is so, the answer in the lesson should be: Cosa pensa il popolo - what DOES the people think.

November 23, 2013


'people' is a collective noun. So it is "what do the people think"

Read this to understand when collective nouns are singular and plural http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/collectivenoun.htm

December 4, 2013


Technically speaking, it is a singular noun with a collective sense. It is singular. "Peoples" is the plural of "people," which is singular. Many people [persons] have been wrongly taught that "people" is the plural of person; actually, the plural of "person" is "persons."

While it sounds unsavory, "what does the people think" is the grammatically correct answer. Just because many persons say "I'm good" when they ought to say "I'm well" doesn't mean that both are grammatically correct.

October 19, 2014


> Many people have been wrongly taught that.

Did you use "people" as the plural of "person"? I just want to understand: I'm an Italian speaker and I'd like to be sure if I learned something wrong! ;)

October 20, 2014


"people" can be the plural of "person". You would say "a person is at the door", or "people" are at the door". The plural "persons" has more a connection to law or rules. "a maximum of 14 persons may occupy the lift" You would say "a thousand people were in the square". Generally "people" if they cannot be properly counted.

April 16, 2017


Ha...you see how easy it is! I've been trying very hard to overcome the 30+ years of incorrect English grammar. Good catch.

October 20, 2014


Tank you for the teaching!

October 20, 2014


I took this to be the singular of 'peoples' and used 'does' instead of 'do'. I do not understand the Italian well enough to know whether it is the plural of 'persons', or the singular of 'peoples'. However, 'do' is often used for this sort of noun referring to a group of people, and usage would dictate that it is acceptable.

November 1, 2017


Unluckily it is not accepted by Duolingo.

February 6, 2015


I did read the sugested article and this is what they say : "Because people behave as both herd animals and solitary creatures, collective nouns can be either singular or plural, depending on context.[...]

People often behave in the same manner, doing one thing in unison with the other members of their group. When these people are part of a collective noun, that noun becomes singular and requires singular verbs and pronouns."

The suggested question mostly makes sense if you expect a collective answer. So "What does the people think?" should be accepted.

September 25, 2015


i think so, "il popolo" refers to citiziens of a region or state. like "il popolo napolitano" or "il popolo tedesco"...

December 4, 2013


You wouldnt say what does the people think. What do the people think or what does the person think

January 19, 2016


I had "what does the people think", which was marked wrong. Technically it is correct. However, language is democratic and "what do the people think" would be correct by common usage.

April 16, 2017


How do you know when to put the verb before the noun like this? Would it be incorrect to say "Cosa il popolo pensa"?

August 23, 2016


I wonder the same myself. Does anyone have an idea?

December 21, 2016


Doesn't "popolo" refer to "populace" ?

June 18, 2013


I'm no expert but I know the word can be translated to populace, they are kind of the same thing. But I am sure an expert knows better and knows there is a different word for populace.

June 18, 2013


Isn't "gente'' a better word for people though?

June 18, 2013


I learned that "people" is the plural of "person", so pay attention: "gente" is singular ("genti" is plural) it indicates ordinary people. It could be ok in this context but it is not in general a good translation for "people"

June 16, 2014


It does seem that 'gente' would be more colloquial...like 'les gens' in French...

June 9, 2014


(this is a guess, not an answer)

Isn't popolo like the "group of people who lives somewhere"? Like a unity?

The Italian people plus the Brazilian people make two peoples?

September 15, 2014


popolo has different undertones:

  • Community, population: "il popolo ebraico veniva perseguitato" = Jewish people was persecuted ; and it can be plural: "Immagina che tutti i popoli vivano in pace" = Imagine all the people living life in peace ;
  • Populace, working-class: "Il popolo unito non sarà mai sconfitto" =The people united will never be defeated ;
  • Subjects: "il popolo non ha pane - Che mangino brioche!" = the peasants had no bread - Let them eat brioche! ;
  • Crowd, Mass: "il popolo acclama il tiranno" = The crowd praises the dictator .
September 17, 2014



Exaclty like Portuguese (povo).

September 17, 2014


In English the article is required in this usage, so "The Jewish people was persecuted" or "Jewish people were persecuted"

April 16, 2017


yes, that´s right.

November 4, 2014


The way I read this to be translated is: The people, what do they think? Can someone help me understand why this is not correct? TIA

March 16, 2014


Pensa should have been un the loro form there I believe

February 5, 2014


since "il popolo" is singular it is in the lei/lui form

December 4, 2014


Couldn't this be translated as: What does he/she think about the people?

June 21, 2014


That would be: Cosa pensa del popolo?

June 23, 2014


shouldn't this be "pensano" ( they think) instead of "pensa" (you think) ?

May 21, 2017


That was my thought. Reading above, it seems like (if I'm reading it right?), people are saying we should treat "the people (they)" like "the population (it)"--as a collective thing, rather than group of folks. So, rather than "they think" it would be something more like "what does it think?"

September 27, 2017


If this is referring to what a group of people think shouldn't the verb be 'they think' pensano rather than he/she/it thinks?

July 16, 2013


A group is a singular noun so grammatically it is followed by a singular verb.

A group of children is large The child is large. Groups of children are large. The children are large.

September 28, 2013


Isn't people a collective o person?

October 9, 2013


In Italian there aren't collective nouns: popolo is singular (popoli the plural) it means a lot of people or a population. if you indicates two people you say "due perone" you don't have people enogh to make a "popolo" ...it's hard to explain

June 16, 2014


It may be, but in a slightly different sense it is singular.

April 16, 2017


The big brother is watching

June 25, 2014


I translated this as singular (as it should be in this context) and received an error with a plural verb add the "correct" response.

June 25, 2014


Sounds like the speaker is pronouncing "popolo" strangely with emphasis on the final "o". Anyone else think that?

November 24, 2015


(native italian speaker) I think it is because the question mark gives to the sentence a particular cadence and rithm.
but the speaker sounds a bit unnatural even to me.

December 12, 2015


I don't understand ... I wrote what does he think of the people. PLEASE HELP!!!

August 16, 2018
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