predicate nominative


New Member
German, Germany
If the subject of a sentence and the predicate nominative are of different number, as for example in:

Another problem of celebrities is people who try to...

the rule of Subject-Verb-Agreement seems to be violated. The verb agrees with the predicate nominative.

In reversed word order, however, there is number agreement:

People who try to take pictures of them are another problem of celebrities

Can anybody explain, why this is the case? Or am I getting this wrong?

In German there is always Subject-Verb-Agreement:

Leute, die versuchen ein Foto von ihnen zu machen, sind ein weiteres Problem der Stars.
Ein weiteres Problem der Stars sind Leute, die versuchen...
  • katala

    New Member
    German, Germany
    Thanks for answering that fast. But what I still don't quite get it.

    Is "another problem" really the subject of the sentence? I thought that independent from word order the subject is "people", while the predicate nominative is "another problem".

    Thus, in the first example, the verb would agree with the predicate nominative and not with the subject.

    That's what is confusing me.

    Because, as I said, in German the verb always concords with "people" no matter which word order is chosen.
    Yes, another problem is the subject here. English is an SVO language. People who try... is an object in the sentence.

    I know you may be confused because in Polish the verb also would be in concord with people. In Polish, we would say Another problem of celebrities are people who try to... . In English, however, it is not the case. :)


    New Member
    German, Germany
    I'm really grateful that there are people like you, who go to the trouble of helping others :)

    I already spent most of the day trying to find answers to this German/English difference.

    So, thank's a lot, you really helped me!


    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Another problem of celebrities is people who try to...
    It might help if you take out the "of celebrities" since it is just added detail. Then the phrase will look like this:

    "Another problem is people who try to..."

    The celebrities can not be the subject if you can take it out of the sentence and the remaining phrase is still a complete sentence. Hope this helps :)
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