The United States Is or Are?

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Here is an example of “when the grammar just doesn’t literally translate.”

In English, we’d say that “The United States “is” a beautiful country. That is because, even though the subject might appear to be plural, it is in fact singular. That is, the “United States” is the name of one country.

But the translation in Portuguese would treat the “United States” as a plural subject, therefore it would take the plural verb “sao” instead of the singular verb “e.”

So in English, we would say “The United States is a beautiful country.” But in Portuguese, they would say that “The United States sao uma pais bonita.”

Sao = are

e = is

Funny, don’t you think?\

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