Is it part of the Swedish language that you don't use plural words with group nouns like this? Or are they just not accepted on this course in particular?
I noticed this with an example that used "the team" back in the sports section too.
In English it's equally valid to say "the team/audience/etc are" as it is to say "the team/audience/etc is". The first refers to all the members of the group, whereas the latter refers to the group as its own entity.
Well, in this case you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, because Swedish doesn’t conjugate verbs in the plural, and bra is indeclinable.
In other cases, the truth is that in everyday speech if a word is grammatically singular, but semantically plural, like this one, people will sometimes use a plural adjective to describe them.
- Familjen var glad. = The family was happy.
In everyday speech people might say familjen var glada.
It happens in casual speech and it’s probably more common in certain contexts or constructions in all dialects. So my guess is either that this example (a very simple clause) isn’t very common, or that you haven’t registered it when you’ve heard it. I’ve often heard it with folk for example. People who say e.g. När folket blev bortförda påbörjades revolutionen and similar.
This is called semantic agreement (semantisk kongruens) if you want to google it.
Thanks for this interesting example, which sounds a little bit more natural. (Maybe this "naturalness" has something to do with "folk" being the same in both singular and plural? People say things like "folk var glada" all the time. Yet the normal usage would still be "folket blev bortfört".). Come to think of it, I might actually have heard "familjen var glada" once or twice, but I guess I've always thought it's short for "[alla i] familjen var glada", or dialectal.
Either version works just fine. The Swedish language council recommends the separated spelling, so that's used as the default all over the course - but both spellings are always accepted.
That said, there is a bug with the "type what you hear" exercises which causes the merged spelling to display as a typo. Course contributors unfortunately cannot do anything about this.