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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    SUBJECT VERB CONCORD

    Hey everyone!
    Could anyone please help me with this sentence?

    A group of children plays in the park.
    A group of children play in the park.

    The committee was divided on this issue.
    The committee were divided on this issue

    which one is correct?
    I am totally confused.
    Thank you all :)

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    #2

    Re: SUBJECT VERB CONCORD

    Quote Originally Posted by newteacher12 View Post




    The committee was divided on this issue.
    The committee were divided on this issue
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, New Teacher:


    1. As you know, you are dealing with collective nouns here. I am sure that you have already checked the "millions" of results on Google for this subject.

    2. This is a very difficult matter.

    a. Here in the United States of America, we say, "The government is ...." I believe that our British friends usually prefer "The government are...."

    3. Regarding your question, I shall not give an answer. (We non-teachers are required to be very careful.)

    4. So I shall share something that I have found. Then you can make the decision.

    a. The jury has been out for nine hours. (A singular verb is used because the jury is considered as acting as a whole.)

    b. The jury are arguing vehemently. (To argue, more than one person is needed. The plural verb are is correct because

    jury members are acting separately.)

    [I have copied the book's words -- including the words in the parentheses -- word for word. The only change that I made was to put some words in boldface type.]

    James


    Source: Business English and Communication by Stewart, Lanham, and Zimmer (1967), page 130.
    Last edited by TheParser; 25-Nov-2012 at 15:42. Reason: changed an "o" to a "p"

  3. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #3

    Re: SUBJECT VERB CONCORD

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    I believe that our British friends usually prefer "The government are...."
    We use both, though the plural does seem to be winning with collective nouns.

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    #4

    Re: SUBJECT VERB CONCORD

    Put simply, for the two questions, both forms are correct.

    Some grammarians will say a singular verb should be used for A GROUP, but you can ignore them.

  5. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #5

    Re: SUBJECT VERB CONCORD

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson13 View Post
    Some grammarians will say a singular verb should be used for A GROUP, but you can ignore them.
    That's a bit of an oversimplification IMO- in some variants the singular is used, others tend to use the plural, and in some both are fine. I think that both forms can be used, but that doesn't mean that everyone will agree everywhere. I have had complaints from AmE speakers about my using the plural, so if you're going to be in an AmE environment, it might make sense to follow their pattern.

  6. Newbie
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    #6

    Re: SUBJECT VERB CONCORD

    Thanks everyone for the reply :)

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