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    • Join Date: May 2004
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    #1

    audience, family, couple...

    Is it possible to use the noun audience with both (or both with??? Could you correct it, please?) is and are (as zthe words family, couple etc. do collocate both with is and are)?

    e.g.
    The audience shout/shouts for it. => are both of the forms correct?

    (I'd be really glad if you corrected my mistakes - feel free to do it :))

  1. Ayuda-Tulong's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: audience, family, couple...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    Is it possible to use the noun audience with both (or both with??? Could you correct it, please?) is and are (as zthe words family, couple etc. do collocate both with is and are)?

    e.g.
    The audience shout/shouts for it. => are both of the forms correct?

    (I'd be really glad if you corrected my mistakes - feel free to do it :))

    If I understand your question, you merely want to know which word to use, right?

    Here it is:

    The audience shouts for it.

    The reason it's correct is that 'audience' is a singular noun. An audience can consist of one or more people, but an audience is one entity. Also, if a reviewer were to see a show for several performances, he or she might say;

    "The audiences shout for it."

    One thing I learned about my native language (English) is that in order to be grammatically correct, generally speaking, most sentences must include at least one plural or at least one word that ends in the letter 's'. See below:

    John and Fred are in the army. (Plural)
    John is in the army. (One word ending in 's'.)

    Does this book explain the topic? (One word ending in 's'.)
    Do these books explain the topic? (Plural & one word ending in 's'.))

    He gave the money to the clerk. (The rule does not apply to this sentence.)
    He gives the money to the clerk. (One word ending in 's'.)
    He is giving the money to the clerk. (One word ending in 's'.)
    He will give the money to the clerk. (The rule does not apply to this sentence.)

    The students are waiting for the teachers. (Two plurals & two words ending in 's'.)
    The student is waiting for the teacher. (One word ending in 's'.)
    The students wait for the teacher. (One plural & word ending in 's'.)
    The student was waiting for the teacher. (One word ending in 's'.)
    The students were waiting for the teacher. (One word ending in 's'.)
    The student waits for the teacher. (One word ending in 's'.)

    My computer isn't working well. (One word ending in 's' [is+not=isn't].)
    My computers are not working well. (One plural & one word ending in 's'.)
    My computer does not work well. (One word ending in 's'.)
    My computer never works well. (One word ending in 's'.)
    My computer does not ever work well. (One word ending in 's'.)
    My computer always works well. (Two words ending in 's'.)
    My computers always work well. (One plural & two words ending in 's'.)
    My computer worked well. (The rule does not apply to this sentence.)

    Ok, using the examples I've typed here, try to reverse the rule, and you'll find that the sentences will be grammatically incorrect.

    Have fun.


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    #3

    Re: audience, family, couple...

    Thanks, Ayuda-Tulong...

    Anyway, have a look at this: Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press
    "The audience was/were clearly delighted with the performance."

    Now, I see, it must be correct (maybe not in American English, but according to the dictionary, it must be right at least in the British English).
    Are there any other (or should I say "some") words that take both singular and plural verbs?


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    #4

    Re: audience, family, couple...

    What about the word "fauna"?
    I've read this sentence just a moment ago: "The megafauna disappear and Paleo-Indians begin to gather plants for food." <= is it also possible to use the verb in singular?

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: audience, family, couple...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    What about the word "fauna"?
    I've read this sentence just a moment ago: "The megafauna disappear and Paleo-Indians begin to gather plants for food." <= is it also possible to use the verb in singular?
    That's a bit different, as it's a Latin plural (and felt to be such by native speakers of English). The singular would be 'megafaunum', which is almost non-existent: megafaunum - Google Search

    Among Latin plurals, most are still recognized as plural. Some are hotly disputed (for example, media); and a few take either a singular or a plural - though there are die-hards who insist on the plural:
    "the data is" - Google Search
    but
    "the data are" - Google Search

    "The data is" out-numbers "The data are" by more than 5 to 1 (7,760,000 to 1,440,000), but 1,440,000 is a fairly big number. (And there are big regional differences: for UK pages only, it's nearly 50:50; and I expect some English dialects - Australian, probably, at a guess - favour the plural strongly.)

    b

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: audience, family, couple...

    PS - I found out how to get country-specific numbers from Google. I was wrong about Australia (more singular than plural) but right about regional differences - Albania (! I guessed the wrong country code) has more plural than singular.

    b

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