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    #1

    subject verb agreement

    Hello,

    I saw two questions about subject verb agreement which got me confused now that from what I know 'government' can either be singular or plural'.

    1.The government (does, do) not always provide subsdies for poor farmers.

    2. The crowd (is, are) getting restless with every passing minute.

    So, what should be the answer precisely.


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
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    #2

    Re: subject verb agreement

    Collective nouns are nouns that represent a group.

    Use the singular when the the group works together as a unit.
    Plural applies when the members of the group are acting individually.

    Thus

    1.The government do not not always provide subsdies for poor farmers. -- The provision of subsidies is a collective decision, not individual.

    2. The crowd is/are getting restless with every passing minute. -- In my opinion, both forms work here; however, I am inclined to regard crowd more like a unit in the sentence.


    • Join Date: Mar 2009
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    #3

    Re: subject verb agreement

    I may sound like a broken record or a salesperson, but Grammar Girl wrote a great article about this. (I'm just a fan, not her agent!)

    which verb you use depends on two things: whether you consider the collective noun to be a single unit or to be made up of individuals, and whether you’re American or British.

    Americans tend to use collective nouns as a single unit, so you wouldn't hear an American English speaker say "India have won," and we would consider that to be wrong, but Brits may not.

    I'm an American, so I can't say whether Brits would think the sentence India have won would be correct or not, but from an American grammar standpoint it is incorrect.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: subject verb agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by teacherjulia View Post
    I may sound like a broken record or a salesperson, but Grammar Girl wrote a great article about this. (I'm just a fan, not her agent!)

    which verb you use depends on two things: whether you consider the collective noun to be a single unit or to be made up of individuals, and whether you’re American or British.

    Americans tend to use collective nouns as a single unit, so you wouldn't hear an American English speaker say "India have won," and we would consider that to be wrong, but Brits may not.

    I'm an American, so I can't say whether Brits would think the sentence India have won would be correct or not, but from an American grammar standpoint it is incorrect.
    In BrE "India have won." is correct; "India has won." is not wrong.

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    #5

    Re: subject verb agreement

    [quote=svartnik;484649]Collective nouns are nouns that represent a group.

    Use the singular when the the group works together as a unit.
    Plural applies when the members of the group are acting individually.

    Thus

    1.The government do not not always provide subsdies for poor farmers. -- The provision of subsidies is a collective decision, not individual.

    Did you mean ' does not'?

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