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English-German Translation of
people was were

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Frage:
people was/were  
von nutshell, 2011-10-27, 21:34  like dislike  Spam?  188.105.55....
Wie übersetze ich "es waren die Menschen, die nicht einsehen wollten, dass....." It was the people who....  oder it were the people who
Danke!
Antwort: 
It was, but people were.  #625503
von Lllama (GB/AT), 2011-10-27, 21:37  like dislike  Spam?  
Antwort: 
the ... people was > das ... Volk war  #625507
von Lisa4dict loggedout, 2011-10-27, 22:07  like dislike  Spam?  99.11.160....
Antwort: 
Even when talking about a people, I would probably say were,  #625509
von Lllama (GB/AT), 2011-10-27, 22:11  like dislike  Spam?  
but we British do love to have these things in the plural :-)
Chat:     
Depends on context, Joanne  #625521
von Proteus, 2011-10-27, 22:40  like dislike  Spam?  91.115.112....
Suppose you describe who the Italic peoples *were,
* it would be wise to say that the Roman people was destined to conquer them all.
Chat:     
von uffie (GH/KI), 2011-10-28, 01:15  like dislike  Spam?  
 #625532
I reckon you could still use "were" in the second example with the Romans
Antwort: 
ufriend   #625537
von Lisa4dict loggedout, 2011-10-28, 05:37  like dislike  Spam?  99.11.160....
If you used "were" in Proteus' second example the meaning would change slightly:
compare:
It would be wise to say that the Roman people was destined to conquer them all.
Es wäre vernünftig zu sagen, dass das Römische Volk dazu bestimmt war sie alle zu unterwerfen.

It would be wise to say that the Roman people were destined to conquer them all.
Es wäre vernünftig zu sagen, dass die Bürger Roms dazu berstimmt waren sie alle zu unterwerfen
Antwort: 
I think I would avoid using people was by using a different term, if there were a difference in meaning.  #625539
von Lllama (GB/AT), 2011-10-28, 07:15  like dislike  Spam?  
In this example: It would be wise to say that the Romans were destined to conquer them all.
Chat:     
Ad 01:15 - As there is no end of bad writing, of course you could still use were.   #625584
von Proteus, 2011-10-28, 11:53  like dislike  Spam?  194.166.1....
Why avoid using people was when in scholarly writing such usage is perfectly established this side of the Atlantic - and for very good reasons, too::

BBC - History - The Fall of the Roman Republic
www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/.../fallofromanrepublic_article_01.sht...
29 Mar 2011 – At the end of the second century BC the Roman people was sovereign. True, rich aristocrats dominated politics. In order to become one of the ...
(The people here is seen as a unit.and only as such can it ever be sovereign.)
Google

Useful clarifications in  http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/collectivenoun.htm
Antwort: 
LINK 1  #625586
von Proteus, 2011-10-28, 11:56  like dislike  Spam?  194.166.1....
Chat:     
von uffie (GH/KI), 2011-10-28, 19:23  like dislike  Spam?  
 #625628
thanks for the explanations everyone! Now you say it, of course - it's quite logical ;-)

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