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    #1

    Agreement with collective nouns in British and American English

    Dear teachers,

    Would you please tell me in what circumstances we can use a singular or a plural form of the verb with collective nouns?
    In a similar article, I found two different agreements for the same type of sentence. Would you please tell me why?

    "The Oklahoma City jury charged with deciding Holtzclaw's fate have not yet reached a decision as of 5:27 p.m. on Wednesday."

    and

    "Rally co-organizer Candace Liger said she isnít surprised the jury has not yet reached a decision."

    Best regards

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    #2

    Re: Agreement with collective nouns in British and American English

    In American English "the jury" is singular. I think BrE is a little flexible in this attribution but generally favors the plural. In your text, perhaps the reporter has recast a quote into reported speech; if Ms. Liger said "I'm not surprised the jury hasn't reached a decision," the (presumably British) reporter may have inadvertently retained the singular.
    I am not a teacher.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Agreement with collective nouns in British and American English

    The verb number is these cases largely depends on how the speaker/writer views the collective noun. If the collective is seen as a unit, the verb will usually be singular. If the collective is seen as a individuals, the verb will usually be plural. Plural verbs with collectives is far more common in BrE than in AmE.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Agreement with collective nouns in British and American English

    Please don't post the same question in more than one forum at the same time, hela. It wastes the time of people who respond in one forum when the question has already been dealt with in the other.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 10-Jan-2016 at 19:50.

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