Posted in English

Two Become One

Here’s an interesting thing I noticed yesterday: it’s pretty commonplace in portuguese to use collective nouns like “a gente” and “a família” as purely singular and not really acknowledge that the unit is made up of several people. This happens in english too but the portuguese are more strict. For example, we’d usually say “my family is coming to dinner” but not “the people is angry” because people is plural, whereas gente isnt. Yesterday I came across this sentence

Tanto nós como o casal nosso amigo, não estamos interessados em viagens muitas horas”

The highlighted bit means “our friend the couple”. In other words, the married couples is treated as a unit to the extent that it is “our friend” rather than the two individuals being “our friends”.

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Just a data nerd

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