Posted in English


How singular is “a gente”?

Well, first of all, it can be used as a sort of “we” pronoun as discussed a little while ago. But putting that aside, Gente usually means “the people” and it’s a bit confusing because unlike in English, it’s singular. In English youd say “The people don’t know anything” but in portuguese, “A gente não sabe nada”.

This can get a bit weird though. How long do you carry on this crazy charade that yiure taking about one person when really you might be talking about dozens?

I had an exchange with someone the other day in which I expressed disapproval of people who denounce books without reading them.

“Há gente que não LIU (…) mas DIZ (…)”
**and then in the following sentence, I just had to switch it up. I couldn’t maintain singular verb forms.
“DEVEM ler mais e falar menos.”

I asked around and thank goodness u had done the right thing.

“There is (people) that hasn’t read… but says…” Is OK as far as it goes, but when you pull into the following sentence it’s perfectly fine to treat them as a multitude again and say “They should read more and talk less”.


Just a data nerd

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