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    #1

    staff vs. staffs

    Which of these is correct?
    1. The staff at the school is very efficient.
    2. The staff at the school are very efficient.
    3. The staffs at the school are very efficient.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: staff vs. staffs

    In British English, #1 is possible, #2 is natural, and #3 is wrong.

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    #3

    Re: staff vs. staffs

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    In British English, #1 is possible, #2 is natural, and #3 is wrong.
    Thank you.

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    #4

    Re: staff vs. staffs

    [QUOTE=5jj;876782]In British English, #1 is possible, #2 is natural, and #3 is wrong.[/QUOTE/]

    So in BrE is it preferred to view a collective noun from it's individual members' perspective over group perspective?
    Example :1. The committee have passed this resolution.
    2. The committee has passed this resolution.
    #1. is preferred to #2.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: staff vs. staffs

    And in the US, #2 is okay, #1 is natural, and #3 is wrong. Regarding post 4, #2 is preferred to #1 in the the US.
    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: staff vs. staffs

    Can we say : "The staffs at all the schools in the city are efficient."?

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: staff vs. staffs

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    In British English, #1 is possible, #2 is natural, and #3 is wrong.
    The only case where you could use something like 3 would be something like 'The staffs at the two schools were very different' - but even then, the singular would sound better to me. I have only met the plural in an American-run company, where 'staff' has a specialist meaning: 'All managers and theirs staffs are expected to...' - where 'staff' means ' those employees at the hierarchical level immediately below a manager'.

    b

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