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: 26,852
    #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: 19,269
    #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:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 62,763
    #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.

Similar Threads

  1. there are no crowds
    By snoopya1984 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 13-Nov-2013, 22:44
  2. set yourself for disappointment
    By GUEST2008 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 23-Jan-2012, 16:18
  3. (the) crowds
    By birgit33 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 20-Nov-2011, 09:48
  4. a disappointment feeling
    By panicmonger in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 25-Sep-2010, 13:53
  5. disappointment :-(
    By webguy in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-Oct-2006, 14:19

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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