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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    personnel is/are

    I've seen the word 'personnel' used in the singular as well as in the plural. I suppose both are correct, but under what conditions; when is proper to use the plural and when the singular?


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #2

    Re: personnel is/are

    Are you sure?

    "The overseas deployment of professional personnel is of key importance..."

    A verb in the singular may come immediately after the word, but, as in the sentence above, the verb relates back to 'deployment'.

    Can you quote any example?


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 1,571
    #3

    Re: personnel is/are

    The personnel is/are very efficient.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #4

    Re: personnel is/are

    No, they're not correct. 'personnel' is a plural-only noun.


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #5

    Re: personnel is/are

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    No, they're not correct. 'personnel' is a plural-only noun.
    David L., I hesitate to contradict you but here is what Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture says:

    1. ...
    2. (U+sing./pl.v) the department in an organization that deals with (the complaints and difficulties of) these people: She works in personnel. Personnel has/have lost my tax forms. Speak to the personnel officer about it.

    Could it be a collective noun like staff, team, family in this meaning?


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #6

    Re: personnel is/are

    In each of your examples, you are not referral to 'personnel' , as the collective manpower in an organization, but as a shorthand term for 'personnel department', or as you write, 'personnel officer' ( as opposed to "personnel officers")

    Note the example I requested: "The personnel is/are very efficient."

    Also, "Personnel have lost my tax returns."
    The reference is to 'The Personnel Department has lost.." or "Those idiots/terribly nice and usually ultra-efficient administrators in the Personnel Department have lost..."
    Last edited by David L.; 02-Jul-2008 at 00:19.

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