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  1. #1
    aneldebruyn Guest

    Advanced Have or Has

    Hello there

    I understand the have/has principle, and have very good command of the English language. However, I live in London, and often come across signs, posters, advertisements and pamphlets that have the following copy: "Sainsbury's have pledged their allegiance...." or SouthWest have undertaken engineering work" or AMT Coffee have decided to introduce a new drink". Surely all of the above should be HAS? Is the company not seen as a singular entity the same way, for example, a few birds have flown south, but the whole flock HAS taken off together?

    I would appreciate any help with this annoying problem!

  2. #2
    Clark is offline Key Member
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    Re: Advanced Have or Has

    I think they are used as collective nouns that can be treated either way.
    His family is rich.
    His family are workaholics.

  3. #3
    naomimalan is offline Member
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    Re: Advanced Have or Has

    Quote Originally Posted by aneldebruyn View Post
    Hello there

    I understand the have/has principle, and have very good command of the English language. However, I live in London, and often come across signs, posters, advertisements and pamphlets that have the following copy: "Sainsbury's have pledged their allegiance...." or SouthWest have undertaken engineering work" or AMT Coffee have decided to introduce a new drink". Surely all of the above should be HAS? Is the company not seen as a singular entity the same way, for example, a few birds have flown south, but the whole flock HAS taken off together?

    I would appreciate any help with this annoying problem!
    A group (or in this case, a company) can be perceived either as a single entity or else as a collection of individuals. In the above instances, both have and has are acceptable. Their choice of "have" may be deliberate: they prefer to be perceived as a group of individual human beings rather than as an "anonymous" entity.

    It works the same way with collective names: I herd of cows have/has broken into my garden ... A flock of birds have/has eaten all my raspberries.

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