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la maggior parte

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by k_georgiadis, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. k_georgiadis

    k_georgiadis Senior Member

    NJ, USA
    English (AE)
    I have seen precious threads on this but I am not convinced that I found the definitive answer.

    In the past I saw sentences like : "la maggior parte delle persone crede che..."

    where "maggior parte" is followed by a verb in the 3rd person singular.

    Earlier today I saw a post on this forum where a native speaker approved:

    "La maggior parte di questi viaggi erano buoni, ed alcuni erano cattivi. "

    Shouldn't it be "la maggior parte era cattivo/a and buono/a" or have I misunderstood the rule?
     
  2. mikeEN-IT-FR-DE-CY-FI Junior Member

    England (English)
    I always relate this problem to the ongoing argument in English:

    "Parliament is discussing the new law"
    "Parliament are discussing the new law"...

    Seems to be 6 to one, half dozen the other on that one...
     
  3. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
     
  4. k_georgiadis

    k_georgiadis Senior Member

    NJ, USA
    English (AE)
    Thank you Paul, now I get it (I think :) )
     
  5. thomps33 New Member

    United States English
    I am using Rosetta Stone to learn Italian and I stumbled on to this discrepancy. In certain sentences involving "la maggior parte" the 3rd person singular essere verb is used, for example......La maggior parte dei piatti e verde. But then there are also times when the sentence might read......La maggior parte dei cerchi sono rossi. Can anyone clear this up for me? Thank you so much in advance.
     
  6. rover22 Junior Member

    Ireland, English
    Hi,

    The reason for this is that with some quantifiers there is an optional choice to agree with the quantifier "la maggior parte" or the noun phrase "dei uomini".

    I believe that the majority must take the third person singular , but there does exist some that there is a choice and a few that just take the third person plural.
     
  7. thomps33 New Member

    United States English
    I take it though that it would not be a huge grammatical error were I to always stick with the third person singular usage?
     
  8. rover22 Junior Member

    Ireland, English
    Well for the majority, the third person singular form is required. So with "La maggior parte" it is perfect to stay with the third person singular.

    Buono studio
     
  9. thomps33 New Member

    United States English
    Great! Thank you so much for you help.
     
  10. bale84 Junior Member

    Roma, Italy
    Italy, Italian
    I'd say (as rover said) 3rd person singular is always the one to use. The subject is always "la maggior parte", that is a singular noun althought it refers to something plural (i cerchi, generally more than one).

    Thus, saying "la maggior parte dei cerchi sono rossi" is grammatically incorrect, but it's not such a dreadful mistake.
     
  11. Panpan

    Panpan Senior Member

    Sawbridgeworth, UK
    England, English
    I have just read a sentance containing 'la maggior parte', but using the plural, in 'Aquerello' audio magazine issue XIII No 2 article 5.

    The interviewer is talking to a protester against the planned expansion of the American base in Vicenza, and the protester is explaining some of the reasons he is opposed to it (the editor notes that this response is a rather extreme statement of the tension between troops and locals);

    'Infatti, noi vicentini, la maggior parte sono stati anche presi di mira dagli Americani'

    Is it correct to use the plural here? I read it as meaning 'la maggior parte dei noi vicentini'. Could you use the singular? e.g.; 'la maggior parte (dei noi vicentini) e stato preso ...'

    Thanks
    Panpan
     
  12. cerchi Senior Member

    Italian
    I would say: " la maggior parte di noi vicentini è stata presa di mira..."
     
  13. gabrigabri

    gabrigabri Senior Member

    奥地利
    Italian, Italy (Torino)
    I don't like that sentence!

    I would say: La maggior parte di noi vicentini è stata presa.
    or: molti vicentini sono stati presi...
     
  14. bale84 Junior Member

    Roma, Italy
    Italy, Italian
    I have to say "Infatti, noi vicentini, la maggior parte sono stati anche presi di mira dagli Americani" is not that correct !

    He should have said "Infatti la maggior parte di noi vicentini è stata presa di mira" to say "In fact, the majority of us vicentinians (I mean people from Vicenza)..."

    Or he could have said "La maggior parte dei vicentini è stata presa di mira", not including himself in the number !

    To use the plural he should say "I vicentini sono stati presi di mira", not mentioning "la maggior parte"
     
  15. Panpan

    Panpan Senior Member

    Sawbridgeworth, UK
    England, English
    Thank you both, that is helpful.
    Panpan
     
  16. ilforduke New Member

    como italiano
    Buon giorno a tutti..
    Vorrei esprimere in inglese questo concetto:

    ..la maggior parte delle tue proposte sono state fatte bene..

    A caldo penserei: almost of your proposals has been made very well...

    Grazie

    duke
     
  17. Benzene

    Benzene Senior Member

    GENOA (ITALY)
    Italian, Italy
    Ciao!Vedi se ti piace di più la mia personale interpretazione://""the most greater part of your proposals are been planned well..""//Bye.//Benzene
     
  18. karuro Junior Member

    Rome
    Italy, Italian
    Most of your proposals are well conceived
     
  19. ilforduke New Member

    como italiano
    mille grazie va benissimo!
    duke
     
  20. Leo57 Senior Member

    Yorkshire
    UK English
    Hi everybody
    I would probably say quite simply:

    Most of your suggestions/proposals are very good. (This means that some are good, some are ok, some are not ok. I like most of your suggestions, but not all of them.)
    We would not say: …...have been made very well. ...perhaps...have been well thought out.

    Bye for now
    Leo:)
     

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