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Thread: crowd

  1. #1
    Clark is offline Key Member
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    Default crowd

    Could you make up two sentences in which the noun 'crowd' would agree either only with a singular verb or with a plural one?

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    2006 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: crowd

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    Could you make up two sentences in which the noun 'crowd' would agree either only with a singular verb or with a plural one?
    not really because "crowd" is singular, but it can be followed by either kind of verb

    The crowd is larger than expected.
    The people in the crowd are impatient. Of course the main noun here is "people", not "crowd".

    Some people say 'The crowd are impatient.', but of course they mean the people are impatient. I would say 'The crowd is impatient.'

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    Default Re: crowd

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    Could you make up two sentences in which the noun 'crowd' would agree either only with a singular verb or with a plural one?
    I agree with 2006 that what you're asking for is impossible.
    But I would say "The crowd are impatient" if I intended "the people in the crowd", which I normally would.
    In writing, I'd use "is", or write "the people in the crowd are".

  4. #4
    naomimalan is offline Member
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    Default Re: crowd

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    Could you make up two sentences in which the noun 'crowd' would agree either only with a singular verb or with a plural one?
    I agree of course that the choice is more often than not a subjective one and that, generally speaking, both forms are possible. But I think there are some linguistic situations where – with the noun “crowd” - you are indeed forced to choose a singular verb rather than a plural one or vice versa. The quotations below, illustrating this, come off the internet via Google (sentences preceded by an asterisk (*) I would consider unacceptable):

    Some examples where you are forced to choose a singular verb:

    1 Jesus came down with them and stood on a level place, and there was
    a large crowd of His disciples, and a great throng of people from all Judea and Jerusalem… (New American Standard Bible 1995, Luke 6:17)

    When a clause begins with an existential (“there” + a form of the verb “be”) you can’t have the plural (*there were a large crowd…) even if you have co-ordination with “and” as in the above example (and a great throng of people).


    The following examples in (2) are taken from a press article (Independence Mall in Philadelphia) reporting on Barack Obama addressing a crowd of 75 000 people:


    2 “I am reminded [says Barack Obama] of the crowds which received Eisenhower, the second world war hero, when he toured the world as President.

    That crowd was an expression of hope from the world’s greatest democracy.

    This crowd is indeed an expression of hope for 21st century America.”


    3 To Bush, the crowd was a blur (Headlines of a press article on the Internet)


    With (2) and (3), where the noun phrase with crowd is followed by the complement of the verb “be” in the singular, the singular form of the verb seems to be the only possible choice (*To Bush, the crowd were a blur./ *That crowd were an expression of hope / * Thiscrowd are indeed an expression of hope )

    Two examples where you are forced to choose a plural verb:

    4 Flotillas of taxis and a jostling crowd were all geared up for their tryst with the snow.

    Two noun phrases are co-ordinated (Flotillas of taxis and a jostling crowd) so you can’t have a singular verb (*Flotillas of taxis and a jostling crowd was all geared up for their tryst with the snow)

    5 The report said that the crowd were “exploited, manipulated and treated like animals.

    This example is self-explanatory.

    If anybody wants to contest this, feel free.

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    Default Re: crowd

    'crowd' takes a singular verb.
    Hence, I contest:
    5 The report said that the crowd were “exploited, manipulated and treated like animals."

    The writer of this sentence is' forced' to use incorrect grammar, when he could have so easily avoided the situation with an alternative construction such as:
    [COLOR="Blue"]The report said that those gathered were “exploited, manipulated and treated like animals.

    compare:
    Crowds gathered in Trafalgar Square as midnight approached.
    and
    A crowd gathered around the scene of the accident.
    In the plural, the verb form in the simple past and simple future may not be distinguishable from the singular verb form.

    Is this where the sentence above is quoted from:
    ‘Fans treated like animals’
    By Jaime Pilapil

    THE panel investigating the deadly weekend stampede at a game show taping said yesterday fans had been “treated like animals” by ABS-CBN network executives, who could face criminal charges.

    The crowd was “enticed and made to suffer all sorts of inconveniences and in that sense were exploited, manipulated and treated like animals,” said Interior Undersecretary Marius Corpus, head of the task force.


    If so, then note that in the actual Report of the panel, it is 'fans were ...exploited, manipulated and treated like animals
    Last edited by David L.; 04-Oct-2008 at 19:03.

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    Default Re: crowd

    Quote Originally Posted by naomimalan View Post




    Two examples where you are forced to choose a plural verb:

    4 Flotillas of taxis and a jostling crowd were all geared up for their tryst with the snow.

    This situation is not relevant to the discussion about the noun "crowd" by itself.

    5 The report said that the crowd was “exploited, manipulated and treated like animals.

    There is no reason that the verb following "crowd" should be influenced by "animals".
    He is treated worse than some animals are.
    2006

  7. #7
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    Default Re: crowd

    How about this:

    The crowd were wearing blue scarves.
    Is it ungrammatical?
    If not, can you replace 'were' with 'was'?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: crowd

    I don't think that you can talk about a crowd wearing anything, you could say "All/most of the people in the crowd were wearing..."

  9. #9
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    Default Re: crowd

    The crowd were waving their hands at the singer.

    Does it also sound odd?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: crowd

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    The crowd were waving their hands at the singer.

    Does it also sound odd?
    That sounds normal to me. I don't think you'll get agreement on this.

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