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This sentence appears in Donna Leon's Acqua Alta, Chapter 20:

»War Monsieur Bernadotte oder seinem Teilhaber denn zuzutrauen, daß sie wissentlich Fälschungen verkauften?« fragte Brunetti.

Google translates this as:

"Was either Monsieur Bernadotte or his partner likely to knowingly sell fakes?" Asked Brunetti.

But why does this sentence treat the subject as plural when it is either ... or? Should it not be written

»War Monsieur Bernadotte oder seinem Teilhaber denn zuzutrauen, daß er wissentlich Fälschungen verkauftet?« fragte Brunetti.

What about with entweder? Is it still treated as a plural?

»War entweder Monsieur Bernadotte oder seinem Teilhaber denn zuzutrauen, daß sie wissentlich Fälschungen verkauften?« fragte Brunetti.

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    verkauftet is wrong, should be verkaufte. Otherwise regarding to your question I am probably a bit too native german blind to spot what's exactly your problem or concern. Jul 30, 2020 at 17:16
  • Could it be, that your conception is that the plural declension of verkaufen refers to Fälscungen, rather than Monsieur Bernadotte and his Teilhaber? In one case both persons are addressed as a whole (=> plural), in the other a particular person of the two is addressed (=> singular). Jul 30, 2020 at 17:28
  • What I was trying too say was that I don't see the point of including an English translation and then talking about the translation instead of the original.
    – David Vogt
    Jul 30, 2020 at 18:38
  • @BjörnFriedrich You would have written "Waren ... und ... zuzutrauen, daß sie ... verkauften"? This would be wrong since dass sie verkauften (alternatively, es) is the subject of jmdm. zuzutrauen sein. Examples: Es war ihnen zuzutrauen, but die Taten waren ihm zuzutrauen. Jul 31, 2020 at 13:14

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Or (oder) can without further context be treated as inclusive (A and/or B) or exlusive (either A or B, but not A and B). The way "or" is parsed depends highly on context and sometimes remains ambigious.

"War Monsieur Bernadotte oder seinem Teilhaber denn zuzutrauen, dass sie wissentlich Fälschungen verkauften?", fragte Brunetti.

Since it's in 3rd person plural, this is an inclusive or, meaning either Bernadotte or his associate or BOTH, were selling fakes.

"War Monsieur Bernadotte oder seinem Teilhaber denn zuzutrauen, dass sie wissentlich Fälschungen verkauften?", fragte Brunetti.

3rd person singular implies it's an exclusive or, so either Bernadotte OR his associate sold fakes.

Since either ... or implies an exclusive or, 3rd person singular is the only valid option. Otherwise you'd get a conflicting sentence.

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