England is/are.....

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subhajit123

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Should collective nouns be followed by plural verbs? Which of the following sentences is grammatically correct?

1- England is the champion.
2- England are the champions.
 
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emsr2d2

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In BrE, we treat teams as plural so we would use "are".
 

subhajit123

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In BrE, we treat teams as plural so we would use "are".
Is using 'is' instead of are grammatically possible? If I say "England is the champion', will it be correct?
 

Rover_KE

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It will in American English, but not in the UK, where it matters more to us over here.
 
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Lynxear

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In Canada we get confused as our English is a mixture of American and British English

I searched the internet and found this interesting linguistic document

http://teleensm.ummto.dz/mod/resource/view.php?id=6933&redirect=1


Here is a quote from that document:

Linguistic change over space. May be the best illustration would be the distinction between the two varieties of English known as British English (BE) and American English (AM).
Pronunciation: either (BE) /aiδə/; (AM) /i:δə/
Grammar: (BE) England are the champion; (AM) England is the champion
Vocabulary: (BE) the lorry driver; (AM) the truck driver

The bolding is mine to illustrate my point. In both instances the word "champion" is singular. The British English has a plural verb. The American English has a singular verb.

Interesting... I have tried to help a student in France once with his English papers for English linguistic conferences. I gave up after a while as the English used in Linguistics seemed bizarre to me after a while.

Anyway, champion aside it appears to depend on which version of English you are using (BE or AE) as to which sentence you would use.
 
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andrewg927

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In AE, we only say "England is...".
 

Rover_KE

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I (BrE) say 'England are the champions​'.
So does everybody I know. I dispute the statement in the document quoted.
 

Lynxear

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I agree with you Rover KE. When I was helping that student in France, I saw the dark side of Linguistics:). I was amazed at how they used language sometimes. Also when I saw some experiments on aspects of language, I was amazed at the conclusions that were sometimes drawn on very limited data.

I was very frustrated as a result and after a few months I threw up my hands and gave up. I never could understand those that took part in it.
 

Tdol

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Is using 'is' instead of are grammatically possible? If I say "England is the champion', will it be correct?

This would be OK in BrE, but the plural is winning the battle for collective nouns, so you will hear it less and less.
 

Tdol

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I was amazed at the conclusions that were sometimes drawn on very limited data.

Limited data has been the number one source until very recently. The first data-driven UK dictionary that used corpora, Cobuild, was first published in 1987. When I started teaching, the differences between the variants were largely confined to a few vocab lists about taps and faucets. Nowadays we have daily communication between speakers of many variants and teachers can access far more information. The picture is much clearer and seen from many more angles.
 
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