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  #21  
Old February 16, 2011, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irmamar View Post
The question is that in Spanish, as being syntax more free than in English, I can say both:

El mejor grupo era "Los Beatles"
and
El mejor grupo eran "los Beatles"
or
"Los Beatles" era el mejor grupo
and
"Los Beatles" eran el mejor grupo.

You could say that, but it would not be true.
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  #22  
Old February 16, 2011, 12:40 PM
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Thanks for the information Angela and Irma. It confirms what I expected that in both languages sometimes third person plural and singular nouns are acceptable.
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  #23  
Old February 16, 2011, 02:25 PM
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@Poli: En los ejemplos de Irma se puede, porque "los Beatles" es plural, pero no en el caso en el que el nombre de la banda es singular.

Los Who eran/era el mejor grupo.
El mejor grupo eran/era los Who.

El mejor grupo era "Queen".
El mejor grupo eran "Queen".

"Queen" era el mejor grupo.
"Queen" eran el mejor grupo.
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  #24  
Old February 16, 2011, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelicaDeAlquezar View Post
@Poli: En los ejemplos de Irma se puede, porque "los Beatles" es plural, pero no en el caso en el que el nombre de la banda es singular.

Los Who eran/era el mejor grupo.
El mejor grupo eran/era los Who.

El mejor grupo era "Queen".
El mejor grupo eran "Queen".

"Queen" era el mejor grupo.
"Queen" eran el mejor grupo.
Then that's a major difference between English and Spanish. We would
say :the best group was queen too, but there are times when as
group is refered to as they. You would say: I remember when they played at the Palladium.
Rules get a little bit fuzzy here, but sometimes we use they instead of
it if we are referring to a group of humans and some other units of living creatures.
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  #25  
Old February 16, 2011, 10:36 PM
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I don't think there's a difference, poli.
When 'band' is the subject, in both languages, it is a singular subject and we conjugate accordingly. It's when we stop thinking of the group as a whole, and start making reference to the individuals that make up the band, that we switch to the plural.

It's possible to always speak about a band with singular constructs if we focus on the band as a whole. For example:

The band competes at noon.
It is the final band in the competition.
Although it's a relatively new band, it could very well take first place.

Compare with these statements that drop the idea of a collective, but then shifts the focus back to the group as a whole.

The band competing at noon is the final band in the competition.
They have been battling some illnesses this week, so it seems that our final band isn't going to place very high in the competition.
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  #26  
Old February 17, 2011, 12:58 AM
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In Spanish the subject must agree with the verb in person and number. So in a sentence like:

La mejor banda era "los Beatles".

"La mejor banda" is the subject, while "los Beatles" is the attribute (copulative sentence).

Whereas in:

La mejor banda eran "los Beatles".

"Los Beatles" is the subject and "la mejor banda" is the attribute.

However (there is always a "however") it is recommended that in such sentences, when we have plural and singular in both subject/attribute (in some copulative sentences the question of which is the subject and the attribute is not so clear), we should use the plural form. So, the best way of saying this sentence would be:

La mejor banda eran "los Beatles".

This is just a "recommendation", not a rule; using "era" is not agrammatical, but it doesn't sound as well as with the plural form.

And another "however" would be that, sometimes, we are interested in highlight the subject. For instance if I'm asked:

¿Cuál era la mejor banda en los 60?

And I want to highlight the subject ("la mejor banda"), I'd change the construction and I' say:

La mejor banda era la de "los Beatles".

Le guste a Perikles o no.
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  #27  
Old February 17, 2011, 02:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irmamar View Post
Le guste a Perikles o no.
*sigh* sobre gustos no hay nada escrito
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  #28  
Old February 17, 2011, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
*sigh* sobre gustos no hay nada escrito
Eso dicen, pero no es verdad.
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  #29  
Old February 17, 2011, 05:38 PM
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Just adding to what has been said: if the subject (with the words "banda"/"grupo"/"cuarteto", etc.) is not explicit, we rather tend to talk about the members of the band. (Which I tried unsuccessfully to show in the paragraph I invented.)

However, keeping the subject doesn't harm:

Queen era una gran banda. Ahora (la banda) está de gira sin Freddie.
Queen era un gran grupo. Ahora (los miembros del grupo) están de gira sin Freddie.
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  #30  
Old February 17, 2011, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irmamar View Post
No, it was the Beatles.

Thank you.
Oh no it weren't! (This is colloquial, but incorrect usage)
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