Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. Junior Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • French
      • Home Country:
      • France
      • Current Location:
      • France

    • Join Date: Jan 2016
    • Posts: 52
    #1

    The crowds howls their rage and disappointment.

    I have read this sentence in a book: The crowd howls their rage and disappointment.

    I don't understand why it's not either:

    The crowd howls its rage and disappointment. Where "crowd" is considered a singular so the verb take an "s" and the possessive adjective is singular.

    or :

    The crowds howl their rage and disappointment. Where "crowd" is considered a plural so the verb doesn't take an "s" and the possessive adjective is plural.

    Edit: Sorry, I have made a mistake in the title. It should be "The crowd" without an s.
    Last edited by BloodSweatTears; 24-Dec-2016 at 18:44.

  2. Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 27,471
    #2

    Re: The crowds howls their rage and disappointment.

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodSweatTears View Post
    I have read this sentence in a book ...
    Please tell us the title and author.

  3. Junior Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • French
      • Home Country:
      • France
      • Current Location:
      • France

    • Join Date: Jan 2016
    • Posts: 52
    #3

    Re: The crowd howls their rage and disappointment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Please tell us the title and author.
    The Winner Effect written by Ian Robertson, the publisher is Bloomsbury.

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
    Moderator
    Other
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,062
    #4

    Re: The crowd howls their rage and disappointment.

    You're right that it's a singular verb and it uses "they" but this is not uncommon when we have collective noun of people.

    In the US, we find it very odd to use a plural verb for words like "crowd" (or a team, a jury, a company, etc.) but we don't seem to mind switching back to the plural "they/their" to talk about things these people and remember they are individual.
    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.

  5. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 65,084
    #5

    Re: The crowd howls their rage and disappointment.

    It's very common to use the plural in the UK. It's probably more common now than the singular.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •