es "hätten" Jahre sein können...

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by jscivias, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. jscivias New Member

    Kanada
    English
    I have two questions..

    1. in sentences such as, "es hätten Jahre sein können", I am not sure why it's "hätten" instead of say hätte - can someone explain this to me?

    2. "in jenen alten Zeiten" -- I don't quite understand the declension very well. is it dativ plural?


    danke im voraus!
     
  2. Zwitter Senior Member

    Croatia
    Croatian
    "Jahre" is the subject of the sentence and it is in plural. That's the reason.

    Yes, it is dative plural. Take a look at this link at the part "Adjektivdeklination mit dem bestimmten Artikel".
     
  3. Gernot Back

    Gernot Back Senior Member

    Cologne, Germany
    German - Germany
    No, it is not:
    Es (singular) is the subject of this sentence here. Jahre (plural) is the predicative complement of this sentence. But there is a rule in German that if subject (nominative complement) and predicative complement differ in number, the verb agrees with the plural one of the two.
    http://www.canoo.net/services/Onlin...s-Person/ProblemNum.html#Anchor-Subjekt-11481
     

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