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Thread: USA is/are

  1. #1
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default USA is/are

    I have got a very simple question:

    Do you say "the USA is...." or "the USA are..." ?

    Thanks for your answers (if anyone answers... )

  2. #2
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    Default Re: USA is/are

    You can use either depending on the context of your sentence.
    USA = U.S.A. = United States of America.

    1. The USA( as a country) is a prominent member of the UN.
    2. The USA (as various states) are determined to do their utmost to eradicate drug abuse.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: USA is/are

    generally we say( U.S.A is )

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: USA is/are

    In British English both singular and plural can be used. Indeed, with most collective nouns, the plural is widely used in BrE, where AE seems to favour the singular.

  5. #5
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: USA is/are

    Thanks...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: USA is/are

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    In British English both singular and plural can be used. Indeed, with most collective nouns, the plural is widely used in BrE, where AE seems to favour the singular.
    Can the plural form be used irrespective of context?
    Is it OK if I say The USA are larger than the UK?

    Mia

  7. #7
    Philly is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: USA is/are

    No, you can't.

  8. #8
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    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: USA is/are

    It's always singular:

    The United States is...
    The USA is...
    The US is...

    It is one nation, comprised of 50 states, so it is singular.


    Question for the Left Ponders: Is the UK ever plural in BrE? Would you say the "United Kingdom are.." ?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: USA is/are

    But I'm still wondering what would the British say...
    Is it acceptable or not?

  10. #10
    Philly is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: USA is/are

    Because I found it difficult to believe that even the Brits would actually use a plural verb when the USA or the United States or the US is the subject of a sentence, I did a quick search on the BNC (British National Corpus).
    .
    - A search for "the USA are" got no results whatsoever for that usage.
    .
    - A search for "the US are" also had no no results.
    .
    - A search for "the United States are" got one single result for that usage.
    .
    Therefore, I must assume that it is actually quite rare for even the Brits to use a plural verb when referring to the US.
    I would never even consider doing it. It sounds absolutely AWFUL!

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