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    #1

    Usage

    I have been mightily puzzled for some time by the correct form for verbsused with proper collective nouns, viz. the names of sporting establishments and teams. Is 'Arsenal' to be used as singular or plural? Is it 'Arsenal were in great form yesterday', or 'Arsenal was in great form yesterday'?

    I saw a thread of posts on a similar query a few years old, which bore a 'CLOSED' tag, so I did not seek to re-open it. Should I have?

    In any case, that lot ended with the opinion that both singular and plural are correct, varies between the UK and the US. I seem to have grown up on media using the plural, and find the singular grates when my daily newspaper of choice these days uses it, so am looking for some authoritative opinions which will help me change their minds (which can be done, they have a Reader's Editor who is responsive to such issues).

    Can someone also advise me on whether my clicking 'Ask A Teacher' and getting this 'Post New Thread' window is the way the site goes about it, or should 'Ask A Teacher' have led somewhere else?
    Gopal Rao

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    #2

    Re: Usage

    A learner

    If I remember properly

    A Brit see police as a group of policeman (individuals) - plural.
    An American see police as a machine that do the job. - singular.

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    #3

    Re: Usage

    Quote Originally Posted by e2e4 View Post
    A learner

    If I remember properly

    A Brit see police as a group of policeman (individuals) - plural.
    An American see police as a machine that do the job. - singular.
    I can't speak to BrE but in AmE the statement would be "An American sees..........."

    Also, in general, names of teams follow the general, subject/verb agreement rules: The Yankees are, The Arsenal is etc.

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    #4

    Re: Usage

    Yes sees of course.
    It was my oversight.

    Thanks anyway!

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    #5

    Re: Usage

    I would be shocked to find a native speaker in the US saying "The police is." It's always plural.

    We do, however, tend to use the singular for companies, government, countries, etc. Microsoft is introducing, Apple is releasing, IBM has said, etc.


    As for the teams, I also tend to make it agree with the noun itself (the Pistons are, the Heat is), but there are times when I might use the plural for even a singular-noun team like the Heat, especially when I want to emphasize the individual players. The Heat are rife with talent this year.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #6

    Re: Usage

    A learner

    I would be shocked to find a native speaker..

    Is it correct to say

    I would be shocked finding a native speaker..
    I would be shocked if I found a native speaker..

    Thanks

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    #7

    Re: Usage

    Quote Originally Posted by e2e4 View Post
    A learner

    I would be shocked to find a native speaker..

    Is it correct to say

    I would be shocked finding a native speaker..
    I would be shocked if I found a native speaker..

    Thanks
    I would be far more likely to use the "if I found" version than "finding." I'm not sure that the "finding" version is ungrammatical, but it doesn't sound natural to my ears at all.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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