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  1. #1
    jiaruchan is offline Member
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    Default GROUP used as plural or singular?

    I read earlier today a report containing a paragraph below:

    Formosan Association for Public Affairs, a pro-Taiwan group in the U.S., have met many U.S. Congress members to discuss Taiwan’s current condition on Dec. 15, said the Association President Bob Yang . Many congressmen and aides have worried about the regression of Taiwan’s democracy, saying that a close watch is necessary for the human rights infringement in a young democratic country.

    My question is : a pro-Taiwan group used with have met grammatically correct? or it would have to be 'has met' treating GROUP as singular?

  2. #2
    naomimalan is offline Member
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    Default Re: GROUP used as plural or singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by jiaruchan View Post
    I read earlier today a report containing a paragraph below:

    Formosan Association for Public Affairs, a pro-Taiwan group in the U.S., have met many U.S. Congress members to discuss Taiwan’s current condition on Dec. 15, said the Association President Bob Yang . Many congressmen and aides have worried about the regression of Taiwan’s democracy, saying that a close watch is necessary for the human rights infringement in a young democratic country.

    My question is : a pro-Taiwan group used with have met grammatically correct? or it would have to be 'has met' treating GROUP as singular?
    Both the singular and the plural forms are acceptable. It depends on whether the speaker perceives the group as a unit or as a number of separate individuals.

  3. #3
    jiaruchan is offline Member
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    Default Re: GROUP used as plural or singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by naomimalan View Post
    Both the singular and the plural forms are acceptable. It depends on whether the speaker perceives the group as a unit or as a number of separate individuals.
    Thank you. How about 'the Olympics', same analogy applies?

  4. #4
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: GROUP used as plural or singular?

    British usage and American usage differ somewhat on this one. In the USA it would be "The group has met...." with the word "group" being construed as singular.




  5. #5
    naomimalan is offline Member
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    Default Re: GROUP used as plural or singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by jiaruchan View Post
    Thank you. How about 'the Olympics', same analogy applies?
    I don't think 'the Olympics' could qualify for being a collective noun, which is always in the singular (a herd of cows, a swarm of bees...) even if (in BrE as RonBee points out) it can be followed by a plural verb.

    'The Olympics' is plural so I don't think it could be called a collective noun. Under the circumstances, I think it would necessarily be followed by a plural verb.

    Correct me if I am wrong, anyone...
    Last edited by naomimalan; 26-Dec-2008 at 10:07.

  6. #6
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: GROUP used as plural or singular?

    Well...
    The Olympics is held once every four years.

  7. #7
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: GROUP used as plural or singular?

    Results 1 - 10 of about 207,000 for "The Olympics is".
    "The Olympics is" - Google Search


    Results 1 - 10 of about 331,000 for "The Olympics are".
    "The Olympics are" - Google Search
    Interesting.

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