Subject-Verb Agreement for Collective Nouns

Written by Gabriel Cruz - Foodie, Animal Lover, Slang & Language Enthusiast

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Collective nouns can be either singular or plural, depending on how you use them. Some groups of people or things identify as a single unit while other groups use plural verbs to identify them. So, how do we figure out when to use singular and plural verbs? Let’s find out below!

Subject-Verb Agreement for Collective Nouns

Singular Subject

  • (Meaning) If a group of people, things, or animals identify as a single unit, you should use singular verbs. Remember that although collective nouns sound plural, some of them are treated as singular. Here are some examples for you to understand it more:
  • Example 1: The government is about to make an announcement this afternoon.
  • Example 2: Our baseball team is about to play in the national league!

Plural Subject

  • (Meaning) There are collective nouns that are treated as plural nouns. If you encounter this, you should always use plural verbs. We listed few examples below:
  • Example 1: All the members of the faculty are going on vacation next week.
  • Example 2: The members of the jury are having different opinions about the case.

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