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  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    Default division have or has

    Hello ,
    I want to write a letter and indicate that my division(letís call it XYZ) did something.... so should I say " XYZ Division have done .... " or "XYZ Division has done...." ?
    I know the word division is singular, but in fact Iím talking here about a division that has 10s of employees. So Iím talking about the whole group.
    I have read old letters written by our division and found some employees use " have" and some use "has".
    Which one is the correct one?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Default Re: division have or has

    Quote Originally Posted by Guest2004
    Hello ,
    I want to write a letter and indicate that my division(letís call it XYZ) did something.... so should I say " XYZ Division have done .... " or "XYZ Division has done...." ?
    I know the word division is singular, but in fact Iím talking here about a division that has 10s of employees. So Iím talking about the whole group.
    I have read old letters written by our division and found some employees use " have" and some use "has".
    Which one is the correct one?

    Thanks in advance
    Both are fine. :)

    1. The group (i.e, it) has finished the pilot project.

    The group is viewed as a whole, as one complete unit
    EX: The L&D division has finished the pilot project.

    OR

    2. The group (i.e, they) have finished the pilot project.

    The group is viewed as having individual contributing members
    EX: The L&D division have finished the pilot project.

    :)

  3. #3
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: division have or has

    Quote Originally Posted by Guest2004
    Hello ,
    I want to write a letter and indicate that my division(letís call it XYZ) did something.... so should I say " XYZ Division have done .... " or "XYZ Division has done...." ?
    I know the word division is singular, but in fact Iím talking here about a division that has 10s of employees. So Iím talking about the whole group.
    I have read old letters written by our division and found some employees use " have" and some use "has".
    Which one is the correct one?

    Thanks in advance
    In American English, "division have" would sound very odd. We would say "members of the division" or some other structure to indicate that you are talking about individuals. :wink:

  4. #4
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default

    "The division have" would be considered wrong in AE, but that construction is okay in BE and, apparently, CE.

    :)

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    Default Re: division have or has

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by Guest2004
    Hello ,
    I want to write a letter and indicate that my division(letís call it XYZ) did something.... so should I say " XYZ Division have done .... " or "XYZ Division has done...." ?
    I know the word division is singular, but in fact Iím talking here about a division that has 10s of employees. So Iím talking about the whole group.
    I have read old letters written by our division and found some employees use " have" and some use "has".
    Which one is the correct one?

    Thanks in advance
    In American English, "division have" would sound very odd. We would say "members of the division" or some other structure to indicate that you are talking about individuals. :wink:
    It does sound odd, doesn't it. It's a type of -ese, call it it engineerese or corporatese, or whathaveyouese, in business. It's fairly well used these days in Business English.

    All the best,

  6. #6
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: division have or has

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    It does sound odd, doesn't it. It's a type of -ese, call it it engineerese or corporatese, or whathaveyouese, in business. It's fairly well used these days in Business English.

    All the best,
    I understand the thinking behiond the British use of collectives, but it seems to defeat the purpose of collective nouns. When we say that a herd of cows is grazing, we are looking at the entire group as a single thing. If we wish to focus on the actions of individuals, we say "the cows are grazing." :wink:

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    Default Re: division have or has

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    It does sound odd, doesn't it. It's a type of -ese, call it it engineerese or corporatese, or whathaveyouese, in business. It's fairly well used these days in Business English.

    All the best,
    I understand the thinking behiond the British use of collectives, but it seems to defeat the purpose of collective nouns. When we say that a herd of cows is grazing, we are looking at the entire group as a single thing. If we wish to focus on the actions of individuals, we say "the cows are grazing." :wink:
    Yes, but isn't it wonderful how speakers use language to express new meaning? ('The group have' refers not only to the unit as a whole, it also refers to its individual contributing members, as well. Now that's kind of kewl.)

    :)

  8. #8
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: division have or has

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Yes, but isn't it wonderful how speakers use language to express new meaning? ('The group have' refers not only to the unit as a whole, it also refers to its individual contributing members, as well. Now that's kind of kewl.)

    :)
    I may get to "kewl" someday. For now I'm only up to odd.

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Loosen up Mike, innit.

  10. #10
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Loosen up Mike, innit.

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