Hello, New Teacher:
1. As you know, you are dealing with collective nouns here. I am sure that you have already checked the "millions" of results on Google for this subject.
2. This is a very difficult matter.
a. Here in the United States of America, we say, "The government is ...." I believe that our British friends usually prefer "The government are...."
3. Regarding your question, I shall not give an answer. (We non-teachers are required to be very careful.)
4. So I shall share something that I have found. Then you can make the decision.
a. The jury has been out for nine hours. (A singular verb is used because the jury is considered as acting as a whole.)
b. The jury are arguing vehemently. (To argue, more than one person is needed. The plural verb are is correct because
jury members are acting separately.)
[I have copied the book's words -- including the words in the parentheses -- word for word. The only change that I made was to put some words in boldface type.]
Source: Business English and Communication by Stewart, Lanham, and Zimmer (1967), page 130.
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