People singular or plural

Which one is corrcet?
The English people are a good people.
The English people is a good people.


  • DavidCrosbieDavidCrosbie ✭✭✭
    edited February 27

    Ahzee, the phrase a people is very rare in English. Personally, I would only use it for sweeping historical generalisations such as

    The English have long been a people that looked out across the sea

    I don't think I would ever describe those who live in England today as a people.

    There is a phrase the people, but this means more or less 'not the leaders'.

    For men and women in general, we say people — without a or the. Although the NOUN form is SINGULAR, it's always followed by a PLURAL verb form. So

    English people are good

    is grammatical, but

    English people is good

    is ungrammatical.

    If you wan't to have people at the end of the sentence, the best choice is

    The English are good people.

    [PLURAL are because the English is a PLURAL expression
    Almost any sentence starting The English is would be ungrammatical.

    An exception is when talking about language For example

    The English is terrible because it's badly translated from French.]

    It's not ungrammatical to say

    The English are a good people

    but it sounds strange.

    It's completely ungrammatical to say

    The English is a good people

    PS The phrases the peoples and peoples are possible in very unusual contexts. But these are even rare than a people.

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