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    • Join Date: Jan 2006
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    Question When 'Olympic Games' is considered singular/plural

    I would appreciate anyones comments or views on the following.

    With regards to the information below, I have been asked why you can't use 'were' in question one and why the sentence doesn't use 'is' in question two. I have put my thoughts underneath, but would appreciate any comments.

    The part of the passage is:
    There is a place in Greece called Olympia. It is the birthplace of the Olympic Games. Around 2,800 years ago in acient Greece, several major sporting events were growing in importance. However, it was the Olympic Games that became the most popular. Even back then, they were held every four years like they are today.

    Students are then asked to complete the two sentences below. Underneath each sentence I have put the answers that have been allowed:

    1. The Olympic Games __________ ____ ________ ____________ among several major sporting events in ancient Greece.

    - became the most popular
    - was the most popular

    2. Today the Olympic Games are held ________ _______ ________ like in ancient times.
    - every four years.

    I saide that in the context of the passage the answer for question one treats the 'Olympic Games' as a single entity and so you don't use were.
    BUT with question two, it is thought of as something that occurs every four years and so it is thought of as plural???

    I am totally wrong or is there a little bit of truth to my thoughts????

  1. Editor,
    English Teacher
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    Re: When 'Olympic Games' is considered singular/plural

    I think it might simply be carelessness on the part of the writer. You will see both the singular and the plural used, though I would always use the plural, including in the first example. (British speaker)

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