"Fuair an bhanríon bás agus bhí brón ar an bpobal."

Translation:The queen died and the public were sad.

July 18, 2015

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According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th ed.), in American usage a collective noun takes a singular verb when it refers to the collection considered as a whole, so that the normal translation of this sentence in the US would be "the public was sad". Nothing said about usage in other parts of the English-speaking world. To my ear, if one wanted to use a plural construction here one would say "the people were sad". This is not accepted as a correct translation here, though. Would that specific phrasing be represented by a different expression in Irish?


I believe Americans are more likely to use a singular verb with a collective noun and the British more likely to use a plural one, whether or not the public or team or jury is/are acting as a unit. Compare American and British sportscasters and the frequency of "team is" vs. "team are." (Duolingo accepts both "public were" and "public was" for this exercise.)


Bhí brón ar X would still be used as the expression, but the article + noun X would depend upon which sense of “the people” was meant (e.g. na daoine, an dream, na géillsinigh).


Fuair an prionsa bás anois agus bhí brón ar an bpobal.


People should be accepted as an alternative to public.


Why isn't "people" accepted?

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What is the etymology for this compound word please?


Banríon is a compound of bean + ríon; bean came from Old Irish ben, and ríon came from Old Irish rígan.

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