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Group Nouns - Singular or Plural

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  Ed Good  —  Grammar Tips

Committee Do or Committee Does?

Finally, some nouns that look singular might be treated as plural. Words such as group, team, majority, and many others are called collective nouns or group nouns.

Are these words singular or plural? That is, when you use them as a subject, should the verb be singular or plural? Here’s the American rule:

If the members of the group are acting individually, then the noun is plural and requires a plural verb.

The majority of courts have followed Roe v. Wade.

But if the group acts as a unit, then the noun is singular and requires a singular verb.

A small group of conservatives has decided to introduce a bill to cut taxes.

For more on the problem of subject-verb agreement in number (singular or plural), review the discussion in the eBook Common Grammatical Mistakes.

Hard Copy

You may download our entire discussion of the Parts of Speech. Simply download the Grammar eBook Understanding the Parts of Speech.

 

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