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This is about German Singular "Volk" in English: "Das Volk ist mir zum Kotzen" = "The people make me sick" or "The people makes me sick"?.

It was closed, and the last comment tells what the plural and the singular of "to make" looks like:

"The people" is plural, so they "make me sick." In the singular "My aide makes me sick."

If there are many "peoples" in this world, but just "one German people" (which is meant by the king), then this people must be singular. But another comment tells that "the people" is always plural:

But the short answer is that "people" is always plural in English, even if it's translated from a singular in another language. Such adjustments are common in translation.

Is this just a misunderstanding? Can the question be reopened or at least be moved to English Learners SE?

I flagged the question with more or less the same remark.

Turns out that the question cannot be moved since there is already a question like this at Is people plural?.

After reading that, I still do not know for sure how to put the German sentence in English:

"Das Volk ist mir zum Kotzen" = "The people make me sick" or "The people makes me sick"?

Since it could be that speaking of a "Volk" is just like speaking of the plural people, not of "the [German] people", so that the king just means the "class of the people" as such, something that is not the same as the German people, but something that is near to "the common people" or so.

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  • It is a duplicate of people are/is: which one is correct? (or one on ELL), but there's no good way to close as a duplicate of either right now.
    – Laurel Mod
    Commented Jul 2, 2023 at 18:04
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    @Laurel on ELL, that question is really just about the question whether it is plural. Of course it is, if you mean "the people" as many persons in a group. But I mean the people as a singular, in the sense of the whole population, "there is just one German people" for example. Then, it is singular. I do not see this covered in this question on ELL. What is "the peoples"? Plural-Plural? For example in: panslavism = "all slavic peoples stick together".
    – ETathome
    Commented Jul 2, 2023 at 18:14
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    @Laurel I just see that this is not covered by the question, but by the first answer: "Longer answer: There is a specific circumstance when the word people is used with a singular sense. It's when it's being used to describe an entire nation/tribe. This is the only time the word people can have the plural form of peoples; any other time, the word is plural and hence can have no plural form."
    – ETathome
    Commented Jul 2, 2023 at 18:17
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    @Laurel Then I still do not understand why it was commented by two people that people is plural. This is simply wrong, it can also be singular. And I obviously meant this singular people from the start.
    – ETathome
    Commented Jul 2, 2023 at 18:18
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    @Laurel I still do not know whether the German sentence is now right as "The people make me sick". I would still write "The people makes me sick" after the answer on ELL. If people answer without understanding the question, I do not know what is the answer in the end. It is strange that people think that others do not know the singular "one people" and start editing and closing questions without checking whether the "one people" is meant.
    – ETathome
    Commented Jul 2, 2023 at 18:20
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    This may not help, but "the people of Europe" and "the peoples of Europe" mean distinctly different things—and yet both are construed as plural. "The people of Europe" refers to all of the residents of the continent, whereas "the peoples of Europe" refers to all of the ethnic identities of the residents of Europe (sometimes with a bias toward quasi-aboriginal ethnicities). But as soon as we zoom in to focus on a single ethnicity or region, such as "the German people," the sense of the term becomes "all of the people of Germany or of German ethnicity" and "people" is again construed as plural.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Jul 2, 2023 at 20:06
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    ... What may make the situation confusing is that we can, in some instances, preface "people" with a singular indefinite article and yet treat the word as equivalent to a plural conception of its constituents: "As a people, the Germans are ..."
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Jul 2, 2023 at 20:11
  • If you want to make it clear that the quote is referring to a single group without using the term German, then you could use population in place of people and the present continuous tense: "The population is making me sick” or the present simple: "The population makes me want to vomit”. But in context, the direct and more idiomatic way is the one that convinces you the least: The people make me sick / want to vomit
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 6:02
  • @SvenYargs that is all clear to me. This "singular people" belongs to the first years of English at school. I wonder why it is not clear to the reader that this singular people is known to me. New in your comment is that English might rather avoid it, but here, you do not have the "German people". Check instead something like: "Das Wesen des Volkes". Makes: "The essence of the people."
    – ETathome
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 18:20
  • @Mari-LouA Are you a native speaker? I highly doubt that population is the right word, even without being a native speaker. Population means the people living in an area. That is not what the king means.
    – ETathome
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 18:22
  • It was removed from English Language & Usage so that it came back to German Language SE (with all the comments from ELU SE lost). Now I tried to put it at English Language Learners SE even though there is already a closed similar Q: Is people plural?. But this question is on the special case of how a king would call his people. It is not a general question about the grammar of the singular people.
    – ETathome
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 20:57

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