I was going through www.nachrichtenleicht and found following writing.

Schäuble hat als Präsident 5 Stellvertreter. Sie werden abwechselnd die Bundestags-Sitzungen leiten. Es sind: Hans-Peter Friedrich von der CSU, Thomas Oppermann von der SPD, Wolfgang Kubicki von der FDP, Claudia Roth von den Grünen und Petra Pau von den Linken.

I always though Es comes with ist, but how come Es has sind here?


"Es" is just the placeholder subject in German. But the "complement" is plural, consisting of five people.

Because of that fact, you use the plural form of the verb, "sind," and not "ist."


The sentence in your "Nachrichten in leichter Sprache" is correct in terms of grammar.

Indeed a sentence like

Es gibt vier neue Parlamentspräsidenten. Es sind die Herren Müller, Maier, Schmidt und Schulze.

is correct since the numerus depends on the count of things (or here: people) refered to.

Or using a different example:

"Da steht was Dunkles in der Ecke." - "Es ist ein Weihnachtsbaum."

is correct since it is one (!) Weihnachtsbaum.

"Da steht was Dunkles in der Ecke." - "Es sind zwei Weihnachtsbäume."

is correct because there are two.

(Please be aware that so called "Leichte Sprache" is a newly invented form of German that is oversimplified to the extent of being actually wrong even in terms of basic grammar (not to mention style here). For example the evangelists of "Leichte Sprache" insist on not using genitive forms, claiming that the clientele they intend to produce these texts for is not able to understand genitive. I find this concept questionable. That's a different topic, of course. But don't start to speak to normal people like that. You would be in danger of being looked upon puzzled.)

  • I was comparing it with English, we never say it are. That's why I got confused. – InQusitive Oct 29 '17 at 0:14

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