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  1. Newbie
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    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 5

    Country Name Singular or Plural

    Do we use country name as singular or plural ?

    e.g. India is a big country.
    Commentators on Sports Channel says "India have won the match".

    It's really confusing for me.
    Please help.

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

    Re: Country Name Singular or Plural

    "Argentina defeats Germany."

    The countries of Argentina and Germany did not go to war.
    This might be how it is reported in newspapers when a team of sportsmen from one country win a match against another. It is a brief, space-saving way of saying that "The Argentinian Soccer Team defeated the German Soccer Team"

    So - it was not the country of India that won some (cricket) match, but the Indian cricketers, and so the commentary...

    "India have won the match".

    is a short way of saying, The Indian cricketers have won the match", where cricketers is plural.

    (It is an example of 'synecdoche' : some part of the full name is used to refer to the whole.

    "Liverpool won by two goals": the actual city of Liverpool didn't - it was the Liverpool Football team etc.

    HOWEVER: not all commentators will use the plural verb. Just as many commentators and headlines will use the singular:
    "England wins the Ashes." Here, the writer may be referring to the English Cricket Team, and 'team' is singular.

    Just realize, they are not actually referring to the country itself, and countries take the singular verb:
    India is a large sub-continent.
    The United States of America is ...
    Last edited by David L.; 17-Jun-2009 at 07:35.

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 2,886

    Re: Country Name Singular or Plural

    Each member of the team contributed to the success. Thus plural.
    India is a word that denotes the team which represents the country.

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