[collective noun] + [plural finite verb] (Canada/Aus/NZ)

Discussion in 'English Only' started by ElAjedrezEsLaVida, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. ElAjedrezEsLaVida Senior Member

    Manchester, UK
    inglés británico
    The pattern [collective noun] + [plural finite verb] instead of the American pattern [collective noun] + [singular finite verb] is used universally in the UK, but I was wondering about other Commonwealth countries, specifically Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Does anyone from those countries say, for example,

    "France are winning the match" instead of "France is winning the match"
    "The BBC have news in Spanish" instead of "The BBC has news in Spanish"
    "LloydsTSB have more than one branch in Manchester" instead of "LloydsTSB has more than one branch in Manchester"

    I think I may have seen this pattern also used in Australia, but I am not entirely sure.
     
  2. heypresto

    heypresto Senior Member

    South East England
    English - England
    It's not true to say that [collective noun] + [plural finite verb] is used universally in the UK. We tend to use a singular verb when we are talking about the collective noun as a single entity, and a plural verb when we are referring to the individual 'members' of the collective noun.

    'The committee meets every Tuesday evening.', but 'The committee often argue amongst themselves'.

    And personally, I can't imagine ever saying "The BBC have news in Spanish", or "LloydsTSB have more than one branch in Manchester".

    There are numerous other threads on this topic here.
     
  3. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    I understood the OP to mean that it is acceptable (but not always the case) in BrE to use a plural after a collective noun, while in AmE it is not acceptable. This would be illustrated by your implicit acceptance of "France are winning the match" instead of "France is winning the match".

    The question then becomes quite specific about whether this is used in the other varieties of English - as distinct from another discussion about when BrE uses singular and when it uses plural after a collective..
     
  4. ElAjedrezEsLaVida Senior Member

    Manchester, UK
    inglés británico
    That might be so, but I was slightly confused by what that meant. I meant I was wondering if in for example, Canada or Australia, they would say things such as, "France are winning the match" instead of with "is". I have never been in a situation in which I needed to use a collective noun in speech whilst on holiday in Canada, but I was wondering if people would be confused if I said, "France are winning the match" if I were in, for example, Toronto or Montréal. Or Melbourne..
     

Share This Page

Loading...