live <a?> primitive people called <the?> Tasaday.

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Nawee

Senior Member
Thai
Hello,

Could you explain the use of "a" with the word "people" in the following sentence? "People" is clearly a plural noun because "live" is also in the plural form (no -s). Why is "a" used with a plural noun?

There still live a savage and primitive people called "Gnai".

Can I use "people" without "a"? Will it make a difference in meaning or style?

Thank you.

Nawee
 
  • boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    "People" is clearly a plural noun because "live" is also in the plural form (no -s).
    Regarding the use of 'clearly', I would say that, clearly, the author has made a small mistake, as he/she should have used a singular verb - lives. This is because 'people' is clearly (for me) a singular noun here meaning 'a large group of people; population'.
     

    Nawee

    Senior Member
    Thai
    Thank you for your answers.

    If the third person verb is needed with "a people" then which articles should I use in this sentence?

    On ____ Philippines Islands live ____ primitive people called ____ Tasaday.

    My original answer was: On the Philippines Islands live a primitive people called the Tasaday.

    Assuming that there is no typo, I should omit "a" before "primitive people", right?

    Thank you.

    Nawee
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Errrm, where does this sentence come from? There is something wrong with the word order and the name of the country. I do not say 'the Philippines Islands'.

    A primitive people called Tasaday lives in the Philippines.
    There lives in the Philippines a primitive people called Tasaday.
     

    Nawee

    Senior Member
    Thai
    The sentence comes from an English exercise for an entrance exam.

    Here's the full version:

    In the cool, peaceful, green rain forests in ______ Philippines Islands live ______ primitive people called ______ Tasaday.

    a) x-a-x
    b) x-the-x
    c) the-x-a
    d) the-a-the

    x = no article needed.

    I don't have an answer key for the exercise. I also felt the sentence was odd, but... at least I got to learn that "a" can be used with "people" and when I do, the verb should be in the singular.

    Thank you.

    Nawee
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    But now that I have seen the whole sentence, I see that I would choose answer d), in which case 'people' will be plural and will require a plural verb, as given. It is not uncommon for names like 'Tasaday' (which I had never heard) to take the definite article - the Tasaday.
     

    Nawee

    Senior Member
    Thai
    But if you choose d), the sentence will be:

    ... in the Philippines Islands live a primitive people called the Tasaday.

    But don't we need the singular verb form with "a primitive people", ie "lives"?
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    But if you choose d), the sentence will be:

    ... in the Philippines Islands live a primitive people called the Tasaday.

    But don't we need the singular verb form with "a primitive people", ie "lives"?
    Quite right. :confused: I had not noticed that.

    Then I see no answer that I would choose. Calling those people 'a Tasaday' sounds to me completely preposterous. :)
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Listen, 'the' Philippines is the name of the country. it always has 'the', so you are left with two potentially correct answers - c) and d). However, they both sound wrong to me.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "a people" = a specific group, like a tribe, a race, a community, not "some people"
    Some forms of Englis treat a group/company/team as singular and some treat it as plural.
    I would pick D. The tribe is called the Tasaday. Some random people are not called "a Tasaday."
     
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