"La mayoría de los estudiantes caminan a la escuela."
Translation:The majority of students walk to school.
I wrote "The majority of the students walks to school" and it was not accepted. I reported it, but just want to be sure if I'm right.
In British English it would be 'the majority of students walk to school', walks would not make sense as you are talking of at least 2 students if it is a majority, which is plural. 'a majority' may be a singular but 'the majority of students' is definitely plural. I say this as a native English speaker, although if someone points out an Oxford grammatical rule to prove me wrong i wouldn't be surprised but in normal speech it would always be walk in this context.
This is a strange one - 'the majority' can be either singular or plural depending on how it is used. If 'the majority' is treated as a collective, then it is singular, else it is plural. In this case it is 'the majority of students' are not treated as a collective, but as individuals then it is plural. (For instance one would say 'many students walk', but 'a group of students walks'). In either case it is of course third person.
Which America are you in? It's not the US! In the USA and UK, too, we say it just like DL put it.
Why is the verb conjugated in third person plural, rather than singular? Is this is a grammatical error on the part of Duolingo, or is this really proper grammar? It seems to me to be colloquial, like in English, but not truly correct grammar, since the majority is singluar.
I love learning these distinctions They are useful for both English and Spanish. A group acting as a single entity "uses" a singular verb. (The band was playing loud music.) This is the default form when in doubt, but sometimes when referencing the group but emphasizing that individuals of the group are performing an action, we use the plural form. (The band were ignoring complaints about their loud music.) Proper nouns (names of groups) also follow this construction. (Metallica is my favorite band!) Members of the group name can still be referenced as individuals. (Metallica are getting old.)
Thank you for your comment, EmeraldElement, but in spite of your eloquent explanation I am not totally convinced, as it sounds rather odd to mix single and plural the way you suggest. I would rather say "Metallica's members are getting old and so is their music". But then again, I am not a native English speaker nor a Metallica fan. Do you have some reference to an article or a book where I can find more about this topic? I am interested in reading some linguistic support for this construction.
It is a common construction in British English. Check the sports news, and you'll see "Manchester United are a team" whereas in American English we would use "is".
Well, I guess it depends on whether the team is taken as a collective or not. If one says ' the team are ..." you are actually saying the team members are ..." whereas if you say the team is, then you are using the team members as a 'collective' which is singular. Both are correct in their own way - whether British English or American English - its a rule in grammar. Check out 'collectives' under grammar - this issue is given quite clearly!
Nicely done, qaa2! You're right about everything you said. Tossed you a lingot.
That because in the USA we understand the Giants are a singular team, not teams
Might this do?
"When majority is followed by a prepositional phrase beginning with of and something that is countable — like 'the majority of people/students/us,' etc. — we invariably use a plural verb with it. When it stands by itself, it is often singular, as in 'The majority has spoken,' but not always, as when the countable subjects are clearly implied, as in 'The voters of Hampden County have registered, and the majority have registered Democrat.'"
hmmm.... it really sounds like DL is saying camina not caminan. I listened several times. Is it just me or do other people hear camina, not caminan?
Why don't you translate the definite article "la" in this sentence? How you know when to keep it or leave it out when translating into English?