4

Spanish beginner here...

In one of my LinkedIn groups, a Spanish-speaking gentleman asked if there were any places you could learn to code in Spanish. I answered him "Codecademy tiene un sitio web en español".

Is that the correct syntax or should I have used the Ellos/Ellas/Usd. form "tienen"?

4
  • 1
    This is a good question. I believe the singular form is correct, but it may not be a hard and fast rule. For example, in American English, the singular form is usually used when referring to organizations (Codeacademy has...), but in British English the plural (Codeacademy have...). – Flimzy Aug 7 '15 at 17:00
  • That's what striked me as odd Flimzy, like how do Spanish speakers interpret the form of verbs in relation to organizations. There could also be a syntax variation between Latin and Spanish like you pointed out in the different English dialects. I'm excited to see the answers on here. – salad_bar_breath Aug 7 '15 at 17:05
  • Also thank you for the title edit! – salad_bar_breath Aug 7 '15 at 17:06
  • Codeacademy would be treated as a singular. It's like the way this is usually handled in US English, as opposed to the way it's handled in UK English. – aparente001 Jun 26 '18 at 3:09
4

This could fall into the case of singular nouns that refer to plural (collective) things. Concordance rules can get tricky here.

From the "Diccionario panhispánico de dudas (4.7)":

Los sustantivos colectivos son aquellos que, en singular, designan un conjunto de seres pertenecientes a una misma clase (gente, clero, familia, rebaño, hayedo, cubertería, etc.) ... Cuando uno de estos sustantivos funciona como sujeto, el verbo debe ir en singular, así como los pronombres o adjetivos a él referidos: «El rebaño se aleja definitivamente» [...] La concordancia en plural es admisible cuando se pasa de una oración a otra, pues en ese caso al segundo verbo le corresponde, en realidad, un sujeto plural tácito: «La gente se acercaba y en cuanto veían la escena chillaban»

In your case, I'd strongly prefer the singular form

Codeacademy tiene un sitio web en español.

because we are mainly alluding to the organization as an abstract thing, not so much to the people who are part of it. I'd only use the plural form in other constructions, say

Los [autores/responsables] de Codeacademy tienen un sitio web en español.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.