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Using 'gente'.

 

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Old November 11, 2013, 05:21 AM
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Using 'gente'.

I have encountered a bit of friendly controversy on another thread and I am seeking the opinion of posters here.

A Hispanophone on the other thread employed the sentence "Hay gente que prefiere comprar vino caro". I indicated that I thought that it should be "Gente que prefieren". My Spanish wife agrees with me but de Bruyne's Comprehensive Spanish Grammar is equivocal on the topic. The other writer is convinced it's prefiere and I now suspect he may be right!

Can anyone please offer authoritative clarification?
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  #2  
Old November 11, 2013, 05:39 AM
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'Gente' is a singular noun, therefore the verb must be in singular.
When the speaker talks about the collective, the singular form of the verb is used. However, when the speaker starts thinking about the individuals, a switch to the plural form of the verb results.

The same things happens in the English.

The band plays on Friday nights. (collective)
It always draws a crowd. (collective)
They are crowd pleasers. (individual reference)
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Old November 11, 2013, 05:44 AM
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Sorry but the English examples just confuse me further - although I do appear to be mistaken. Please give Spanish examples!

Or better still indicate specifically whether "Gente prefieren" or "Gente prefiere" is correct!
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Last edited by Sancho Panther; November 11, 2013 at 05:52 AM.
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Old November 11, 2013, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancho Panther View Post
Sorry but the English examples just confuse me further - although I do appear to be mistaken. Please give Spanish examples!

Or better still indicate specifically whether "Gente prefieren" or "Gente prefiere" is correct!
Gente prefiere. Personas prefieren. That's what I was taught. I think sometimes gente is treated as a plural, but technically it's wrong.
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Old November 11, 2013, 11:15 AM
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Poli is totally correct. What's more some people in order to make the agreement they use "gentes". To me is wrong. Like Poli stated "personas" should be used in that case.

Last edited by chileno; November 12, 2013 at 01:39 PM.
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Old November 12, 2013, 10:28 AM
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Ahora entiendo ¡gracias!
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