One old grouch and one nice lady lives here...

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Valosken
cuneiform
cuneiform
Posts: 178
Joined: 07 May 2012 11:37

One old grouch and one nice lady lives here...

Post by Valosken » 27 Jan 2014 20:42

My friend pointed out to me a sign someone hung up on their door. It said "One old grouch and one nice lady lives here." and he asked me "Shouldn't it be 'live here'?". I said that it depended on whether you grammatically class the two subjects as one plural unit or two singular units, omitting one of the "lives here" in the instance of considering each separately.

Separate Singular Units: "One old grouch (lives here) and one nice lady lives here."
Plural Unit: "One old grouch and one nice lady live here."

After further thought, I realised that my language actually had a way of distinguishing this. There is a different "and" to connect nouns and verbs, (ja and respectively) which allows a distinction here. Due to my lack of vocab, I'll just translate "One man and one woman live(s) here."

Separate Singular Units: Onno sorna onno kona aunen qi.
Plural Unit: Onno sorna ja onno kona aunen qi.

Now the question is - does this occur naturally in any language that you know of?
First, I learned English.
Dann lernte ich Deutsch.
Y ahora aprendo Español.

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