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    Default His family (is/are) always fighting among themselves

    This kind of colletive noun is followed by a singluar verb or a plural verb depending on which country you are from. I learned from here that Americans usually use a singular verb- is, while the British use a plural one - are. What do you think?

    gz80)His family (is/are) always fighting among themselves.

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    Default Re: His family (is/are) always fighting among themselves

    Yes, that is generally true that Americans regard collective nouns as a singular unit. I'm not sure about your example however, cause you are clearly talking about individual members and not the family as one unit. I'd probably use "are" in that case.

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    Default Re: His family (is/are) always fighting among themselves

    The answer for the example in my grammar was "are" as it is focused on individual members, treating them as plural. So even for Americans, if a collective noun focuses on individual members, can it use a plural verb?

    ex)His family are always fighting among themselves.

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    Default Re: His family (is/are) always fighting among themselves

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    The answer for the example in my grammar was "are" as it is focused on individual members, treating them as plural. So even for Americans, if a collective noun focuses on individual members, can it use a plural verb?

    ex)His family are always fighting among themselves.
    That is what SD suggested.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


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    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: His family (is/are) always fighting among themselves

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    The answer for the example in my grammar was "are" as it is focused on individual members, treating them as plural. So even for Americans, if a collective noun focuses on individual members, can it use a plural verb?

    ex)His family are always fighting among themselves.
    Yes. The verb must match the subject. Or how one is thinking about the subject. We think of a "team" as one thing. In BrE, they think of a "team" as many players. But if we are clearly thinking of the individuals separately, then we use a plural verb form.

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    Default Re: His family (is/are) always fighting among themselves

    What about these two if you are American? Do you think the context clearly tells plural nuance or does it all depend on your judgement?

    1.After the three-hour practice under the brutal sun, the
    team shower, change into their street clothes, and head to their air-conditioned homes.

    2.The jury disagree about the guilt of the accused and have told the judge that they are hopelessly deadlocked.


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    Default Re: His family (is/are) always fighting among themselves

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    What about these two if you are American? Do you think the context clearly tells plural nuance or does it all depend on your judgement?

    1.After the three-hour practice under the brutal sun, the
    team shower, change into their street clothes, and head to their air-conditioned homes.

    2.The jury disagree about the guilt of the accused and have told the judge that they are hopelessly deadlocked.

    The sentences you have quoted can be found on many sites on the internet. If you have found the sites, you have found the opinions. SD's responses will be valid for most questions on this topic. I would give slightly different responses, but I am a native speaker of BrE.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


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