6

In one of my German writing tests, I have the following sentence:

a) Die Umgebung ist sehr nett, jedoch ist die Leute ein bisschen unfreundlich.

This has been checked by my teacher and she says it is correct but it just sounds wrong. I would expect it to be

b) Die Umgebung ist sehr nett, jedoch sind die Leute ein bisschen unfreundlich.

since I believe Leute to be a plural. Although I am aware that German cannot always be translated into English, to me, this sentence would mean

The surroundings are very nice, however the people is a bit unfriendly.

However, there may be a simple German rule that I am not aware of. Who is correct?

  • Note that the first verb needs to be ist, as Umgebung is singular. – Wrzlprmft Nov 15 '14 at 18:44
  • @Wrzlprmft thanks. So does that make the second verb ist or sind? – Harvey Nov 15 '14 at 18:54
  • "ist" neither sounds nor is correct. If it looks like a plural, it has to quack like a plural - German doesn't have idiomatic mis-concord like "the police are busy" or "the data is informative". – Kilian Foth Nov 15 '14 at 21:31
9

Looking around I found this in http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa021206a.htm

[Leute] is a common informal term for “people” in general. It is a word that only exists in the plural. (The singular of Leute is die/eine Person.)

Which seems to indicate that the correct form is

Die Leute sind

I have never seen die Leute ist.

  • Thank you. All of my instincts told me that it should sind but since my teacher had checked it I thought I was missing myself. – Harvey Nov 15 '14 at 21:47

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