Icelandic: Það = Fólk

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by ShakeyX, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. ShakeyX Senior Member

    British English
    Gleðin í Djúpavík breytist í sorg. Bjartsýnin breytist í svartsýni. „Hvernig verður framtíðin?“ spyr forstjórinn. „Fólkið er atvinnulaust. Fær það nýja vinnu?

    Just wondering what the það means in the sentence "Fær það nýja vinnu?"

    Is it referring to the previously mentioned Fólkið!

    The people are unemployed. Will they get new jobs (is what I'm guessing). Or is the það referring to something else. I was unsure if það could be used or þau would be more suiting.
  2. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Yep, referring back to 'people'.
    "Will they get a new job?"

    We're just used to using plural pronouns and I think every English speaker who has learned Icelandic has at some point struggled with the urge to want to use a plural pronoun in cases exactly like this. As you say, it's just grammatical agreement to the word 'fólk'. It's not universal, however, some people are tempted to use plural pronouns sometimes. We discussed it here.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013
  3. Silver_Biscuit

    Silver_Biscuit Senior Member

    English - UK
    Referring back to fólk with þau is a common mistake for young Icelanders as well, I think - at any rate I've seen it specifically mentioned in a style guide intended for Menntaskóli students.

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