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https://www.duolingo.com/Nealbo

Why is it conjugated this way?

On this link is a childrens book in Spanish: http://www.childrenslibrary.org/icdl/BookPage?bookid=qrgllrp_00160001=12=false=text=0=false=English=English

In the first sentence vivía is used, which is the conjugation for he/she but "the band of parrots" is a group (they) so I would have thought that the conjugation would be vivían.

Does it have something to do with "que/that" being before the verb?

Could someone please explain why vivía is used instead of vivían?

3 years ago

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/scarcerer
scarcerer
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Because the subject is the band of parrots, not the parrots themselves

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nealbo

Thanks guys, it totally makes sense now. The entity we're looking at is the group and not its members. We'd only use vivian for multiple groups.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ilmarien
Ilmarien
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The link doesn't seem to be working, but groups in Spanish would take singular just as much as groups in English do. You didn't say the "band of parrots are," after all. =)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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In British English, a collective noun takes the plural verb: "Microsoft have announced..."

In American English and in Spanish, a collective noun takes the singular verb: "Microsoft has announced..." "Microsoft ha anunciado..."

I'm not sure if "the group" is a collective noun but I think it would be.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nealbo

Interesting. I guess that's where my confusion stemmed from. I'd definitely say something like "The group are leaving the room" rather than "The group is leaving the room". The first sounds more natural to me and I suppose the reason for that is what you mention above.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/superdaisy

It's not just a regionalism like UK vs US, the plural vs singular rules take a lot of things into account. For example, if you are emphasizing the individuals in the group, you'd most likely treat the group as plural, even in the US.

Any time I get confused in Spanish (or Swedish) I just remind myself that English is arguably WAY more complicated.

3 years ago