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  #1  
Old February 07, 2015, 10:22 AM
fglorca fglorca is offline
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Gente + Verb

En mi tienda entra mucha gente pero 'compran' muy poco.
Should it not be 'compra' in this case es 'gente' is singular?
Many thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old February 07, 2015, 11:11 AM
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Rusty Rusty is offline
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Compran is used here because the author switched gears, changing the focus from the collective (gente) to the individuals (personas) that comprise the collective.

This is also done in English. Family is a collective noun, until we want to talk about the individuals that make up the family.
My family is wealthy. (collective-minded statement)
My family are hard workers. (individual-minded statement)

Last edited by Rusty; February 07, 2015 at 03:54 PM.
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Old February 07, 2015, 01:23 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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I agree with Rusty, we do that a lot when we speak, but grammatically you're right; it should be "compra".
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Old February 08, 2015, 12:25 PM
fglorca fglorca is offline
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Many thanks, guys, much appreciated.

I'm curious, if we add a direct object, does the noun need to stay in singular, or does this have no relevance at all?

A lot of people have lost their jobs.
Mucha gente ha perdido su trabajo / sus trabajos.

Many thanks.

Last edited by AngelicaDeAlquezar; February 09, 2015 at 04:32 PM. Reason: Merged back-to-back posts
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Old February 09, 2015, 04:35 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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"Su trabajo"; "gente" is a collective noun and its complements must be singular even when thinking of a plural.

In colloquial speech, many people would say "sus trabajos", although strictly speaking, this would mean each of the individuals in this group of people have more than one job and they're losing all of them.
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Old February 10, 2015, 12:35 AM
fglorca fglorca is offline
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Thanks so much, AngelicaDeAlquezar.
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