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  1. #1
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    Default Government has/have

    The Government has announced its intention to undertake a process of reform.
    The Government have announced their intention to undertake a process of reform.

    Which is the correct one? To me the first seems right but Iím not sure.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    angelg is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Government has/have

    The Government has announced the intention to undertake a process of reform....or
    Teh goverment has announced its intentions to undertake a process of reform....
    Either way "The goverment" is the third person of the singular so "has" must be used.
    ( I'm not an English teacher).

  3. #3
    Clark is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Government has/have

    Quote Originally Posted by michelle.siel View Post
    The Government has announced its intention to undertake a process of reform.
    The Government have announced their intention to undertake a process of reform.

    Which is the correct one? To me the first seems right but Iím not sure.

    Thanks in advance
    Collective nouns like 'government' combine with both a singular and a plural verb.
    e.g. The government don't get along with one another. (government as a collection of individuals)
    The government has passed a decision. ( government as a unified body)

    In your sentence I think it's 'The government has announced its intention'.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Government has/have

    Thanks to both of you for the inputs. On the above sentences I also see the government as a single unit so the first sentence should be right.

    On the other hand, on an official document, in fact in more than one, I’ve met the phrase ‘The Government have announced …’ and I was not sure if this was a mistake or an exception from the rule.
    Any help would be appreciated.

  5. #5
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Government has/have

    Quote Originally Posted by michelle.siel View Post
    Thanks to both of you for the inputs. On the above sentences I also see the government as a single unit so the first sentence should be right.
    Then just say 'The government has...'. When other people say the government have...', even though you may think that sounds odd, there is not much you can do about that. That's how language is.


    On the other hand, on an official document, in fact in more than one, Iíve met the phrase ĎThe Government have announced Öí and I was not sure if this was a mistake or an exception from the rule.
    Any help would be appreciated.
    2006

  6. #6
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Government has/have

    "The government have" is British usage. It is possible to see either "The government has" or "The government have" in BE depending on whether the writer views the government as a collective body or a collection of individuals.


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