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    #1

    government

    The government (is / are) now discussing a new programme of action.

    Which form of 'to be' is better?

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    #2

    Re: government

    We would normally use "is".


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #3

    Re: government

    Thanks, Jamiep.
    I have one more problem of the same nature:

    The ship's crew (was / were) lined up on the upper deck for a check up.


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    #4

    Re: government

    Are you considering the crew as a single entity = is - or a group of individuals = are?


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    #5

    Re: government

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Are you considering the crew as a single entity = is - or a group of individuals = are?
    Can this sentence be interpreted either way?


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    #6

    Re: government

    It could.

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    #7

    Re: government

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    Thanks, Jamiep.
    I have one more problem of the same nature:

    The ship's crew (was / were) lined up on the upper deck for a check up.
    I would say "the government is discussing ..."
    "The ship's crew were lined up..."
    (Usually, for these constructions, it comes down to what feels right at the time. This means that whatever form you use, it usually won't sound wrong).

    You don't have to be consistent in speech. If you're writing, it's best to decide on a form and stick to it.

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