Team: Singular or Plural?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by sam1234, May 26, 2009.

  1. sam1234 New Member

    english
    Does 'team' take singular or plural verb?

    I know some people say one or the other, but usage wise I'm going for both, or is that just impossible? If I have to nail my colours to a mast I'm going for plural.

    Actually my question really stems from whether we use singular or plural for the names of football teams.

    Torquay United is/are a good (or maybe bad I'm not sure these days) team.

    Again I always use plural:

    I hope Torquay United (beleive me I chose this randomly) win the FA Cup.
     
  2. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    "Torquay United" is a team. You would hope that "Torquay United wins the FA Cup".
     
  3. Michel09

    Michel09 Senior Member

    New York, NY
    français - France
    No. "Team" is singular. "Teams" is plural.

    Thus :

    Torquay United is a good (or maybe bad I'm not sure these days) team.

    I hope Torquay United (beleive me I chose this randomly) wins the FA Cup.
     
  4. sam1234 New Member

    english
    Ok what about the pronoun then.

    Torquay United is a good team. I hope it wins/they win the FA Cup.

    I have honestly never heard it used as a pronoun for a football team!?
     
  5. Michel09

    Michel09 Senior Member

    New York, NY
    français - France
    I would say I hope they win, because now you are referring to the entire team (its members).
     
  6. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I'm with you, sam: "both" is the right answer in British English. It depends on whether we are focusing on the team as an entity or the individuals within the team. The plural after collective nouns is less common in AmE.

    There are lots of previous threads on this. If you type collective nouns into Dictionary Look-up at the top of the page and select the English definition dictionary, you'll find many of them:)
     
  7. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    American English often uses singular verbs when using the noun (e.g. singular name of the team city) but immediately changes to plurals when using pronouns, even in the same sentence. San Francisco is doing quite well now they've started hitting better. The AE usage seems to be grammatical rather than conceptual. Note: the San Francisco Giants are doing quite well... is because "The Giants" is obviously plural. In each case, the city is not being referred to , so it must be the team. You won't hear "San Francisco is doing quite well now it has started hitting better."

    Being bilingual can be confusing :)
     
  8. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    That's fascinating, Julian!

    I don't think that distinction has come out in previous threads (though my memory may well be faulty...)
     
  9. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Your memory is not at fault, it was sort of buried here

    Congrats on 10k posts :)
     

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