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Frage:
Is oder are?  
von connan, 2010-12-22, 17:04  like dislike  Spam?  93.218.23...
Wird "Ein anderes Problem sind die hohen Geschwindigkeiten..." mit "Another problem are the high speeds..." oder "Another problem is the high speeds..." übersetzt?
Google meint is, Bing are, und ich bin mir nicht sicher :/
Danke schonmal!
Antwort: 
"are" . Wenn man die Wortstellung ändert, wird es klar:  the high speeds are another problem    #564107
von Kornelius (DE), 2010-12-22, 17:14  like dislike  Spam?  
Antwort: 
von Windfall (GB), 2010-12-22, 17:39  like dislike  Spam?  
 #564111
English is very uncomfortable about singular is/are plural and also about plural is/are singular.
I would say:
Another problem is the high speeds
but
The high speeds are the problem
However, a well known saying is
The wages of sin is death.
This reverses the rule I would follow for your example (and matches Kornelius's rule).
I assume the rule I'm following is subject verb object, where the verb matches the subject (I'm a native speaker, so I can't tell you which rule you should be following or why I prefer one way round)
Antwort: 
von connan, 2010-12-22, 17:45  like dislike  Spam?  93.218.23...
 #564113
Ok danke, werd versuchen mir das an Lauras Beispiel zu merken :)
Antwort: 
I think the verb matches the subject  #564115
von Kornelius (DE), Last modified: 2010-12-22, 17:52  like dislike  Spam?  
the high speeds - subject
are - verb
another problem - (nominative) object
The word order does not change the qualifications of words as subject, verb and object here, so (albeit as a non-native speaker) I feel "are" is right for both possible word orders
Antwort: 
and never allow the sheer number of usage on UK websites to decide on grammatical questions!  #564116
von Kornelius (DE), Last modified: 2010-12-22, 18:03  like dislike  Spam?  
Example: Google: " food and beer is cheap " googles 1.380 times and is certainly wrong
Antwort: 
Yes, but what Laura and I "feel" is because  #564117
von Dragonflyknits (US), Last modified: 2010-12-22, 18:04  like dislike  Spam?  
this ("The word order does not change the qualifications of words as subject, verb and object here") is not correct.
In English the positition DETERMINES which is the subject.  So  you have "Problem is" or "High speeds are."

I think I would 'umschreiben' somewhat, and say "Another problem is posed by the high speeds..." or "The high speeds present another problem..."
Antwort: 
the crucial word in my "rule" is  "here"  #564119
von Kornelius (DE), 2010-12-22, 18:05  like dislike  Spam?  
Antwort: 
von Windfall (GB), Last modified: 2010-12-22, 18:25  like dislike  Spam?  
 #564123
4;Kornelius,
One of my friends says that word order v. case is one of the most deeply ingrained parts of our language understanding and that because I'm a native English speaker my subconscious will never quite get over believing that word order overrides case (however often I show it examples of case overriding word order in German). Presumably the same is true in reverse, and for German native speakers word order can never quite have the importance it has for native English speakers.
How would those sentences translate into German?
Noch ein Problem sind die hohen Geschwindigkeiten
and
Die hohen Geschwindigkeiten sind ein weiteres Problem?
Antwort: 
what can I do against a deep-rooted Englich usage from time immemorial  - it must be right by definition  #564124
von Kornelius (DE), Last modified: 2010-12-22, 18:35  like dislike  Spam?  
which does't mean I understand it , and probably never will  ;-))
Antwort: 
"Another problem are the high speeds" is just viscerally wrong  #564138
von pierznj (AU), 2010-12-22, 19:40  like dislike  Spam?  
German works differently. It is absolute about case, and ruthlessly logical. But case in English is much looser and changing word order definitely changes the correct verb form. We just instinctively want the verb to agree with the prior noun/pronoun, not the one following, even though the verb is "to be" which implies equivalence. Sorry Mr Logic. It's like insisting you can't use a double negatives in Spanish, when "I don't know nothing" (no se nada) is the correct and only way of saying it.
Antwort: 
von uffie (GH/KI), Last modified: 2010-12-22, 19:45  like dislike  Spam?  
 #564140
I'm sorry to start this up again , but to me it sounds a bit odd if you say.. another problem is the speeds.. or ... another issue is the cars...
(then again I've been known to be wrong about some things before due to interferene ;-)

I'd be grateful for your explanations. Many thanks.
Antwort: 
It sounds odd because you're German  #564142
von pierznj (AU), 2010-12-22, 19:55  like dislike  Spam?  
and say things like "das sind drei verschiedene Fragen". Das sind? Sounds weird to me, but hey, it's your language! Feel free to be logical. It's just a fact that in English the first noun is generally taken as the subject and treated grammatically as such. That's partly because we don't have articles like "den, dem" etc to clarify case, so word order does it for us instead. We can't move things around as easily because we lack these grammatical markers. So a sentence like "den Hund schlug der Mann" can easily be misread as "the dog hit the man" by an English speaker because we always read the noun before the verb as the subject.

But having said this, this is something of a grey area in English. There are occasions when I myself get tied in knots as to whether to use "is" or "are" in a particular sentence. However, I'd say that nearly all English speakers would instinctively prefer "the biggest problem is the cars" to "the biggest problem are the cars".
Chat:     
Man könnte da ja mal wieder linguosoziologisch drangehen...  #564154
von Baccalaureus (DE), Last modified: 2010-12-22, 20:31  like dislike  Spam?  
Treffen Amis deshalb gerne undurchdachte Hauruckentscheidungen, weil ihnen ihre Sprache vorgibt, ein Problem nur von vorne anzugehen, ohne das Ganze zu durchdenken?
Antwort: 
I think that most English speakers would say the sentence as the speeds are another problem  #564158
von Lllama (GB/AT), 2010-12-22, 20:40  like dislike  Spam?  
whilst not finding anything odd about another problem is the speeds.

And I agree with pierznj's comment - it sounds odd because you're German - this ties in with Laura's 18.25 post.
Antwort: 
many thanks everyone for your explanations   #564172
von uffie (GH/KI), 2010-12-22, 21:13  like dislike  Spam?  
and the elegant way round it. I take my consolation from Bacca's comment ;-)
Antwort: 
Very funny bacca  #564176
von pierznj (AU), 2010-12-22, 21:21  like dislike  Spam?  
But I have wondered about this myself, the way you can just charge through an English sentence beginning to end, whereas in German you have to plan ahead! Total verschiedene Herangehensweisen... And many more opportunities to get grammatically stranded in German!
Antwort: 
Yeah, German makes you think first. Or at least it should.  #564187
von Baccalaureus (DE), 2010-12-22, 22:44  like dislike  Spam?  

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