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  1. #1
    newteacher12 is offline Newbie
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    Default SUBJECT VERB CONCORD

    Hey everyone!
    Could anyone please help me with this sentence?

    A group of children plays in the park.
    A group of children play in the park.

    The committee was divided on this issue.
    The committee were divided on this issue

    which one is correct?
    I am totally confused.
    Thank you all :)

  2. #2
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: SUBJECT VERB CONCORD

    Quote Originally Posted by newteacher12 View Post




    The committee was divided on this issue.
    The committee were divided on this issue
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    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.]

    James


    Source: Business English and Communication by Stewart, Lanham, and Zimmer (1967), page 130.
    Last edited by TheParser; 25-Nov-2012 at 14:42. Reason: changed an "o" to a "p"

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: SUBJECT VERB CONCORD

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    I believe that our British friends usually prefer "The government are...."
    We use both, though the plural does seem to be winning with collective nouns.

  4. #4
    nelson13 is offline Member
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    Default Re: SUBJECT VERB CONCORD

    Put simply, for the two questions, both forms are correct.

    Some grammarians will say a singular verb should be used for A GROUP, but you can ignore them.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: SUBJECT VERB CONCORD

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson13 View Post
    Some grammarians will say a singular verb should be used for A GROUP, but you can ignore them.
    That's a bit of an oversimplification IMO- in some variants the singular is used, others tend to use the plural, and in some both are fine. I think that both forms can be used, but that doesn't mean that everyone will agree everywhere. I have had complaints from AmE speakers about my using the plural, so if you're going to be in an AmE environment, it might make sense to follow their pattern.

  6. #6
    newteacher12 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: SUBJECT VERB CONCORD

    Thanks everyone for the reply :)

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