'football club + have'

Discussion in 'English Only' started by avi7, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. avi7 Member

    India
    Hindi
    I often see people use 'have' while refering to football clubs, or any other sports team. Say, for example: in today's edition of The Times of India, in an article about Manchester City's victory over Liverpool, I read the following sentence:

    "Manchester City, who have been imperious at home this season, fell behind to an early goal by Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho."

    Now, Manchester City is a club. And since it is a club, my question is: "why is 'have' being used here?".

    Thank you.
     
  2. morior_invictus

    morior_invictus Senior Member

    Slovak
    Hello avi,

    if you think of a club as a collection of individuals and not as a single unit, then "have" is appropriate.

    See also:
    The team are OR the team is?
     
  3. MuttQuad

    MuttQuad Senior Member

    New York, NY
    English - AmE
    That is British usage. The club, or a corporation, etc. is treated as a group, so the plural verb is used. In America, we'd say who has been imperious.

    Exception: if there is a definite article before the team name, e.g. the Yankees, the Nets, etc. would take "have."
     
  4. dn88 Senior Member

    Polish
    "Manchester City, who has been imperious at home this season..."

    Wouldn't it technically have to be "which" instead of "who"?
     
  5. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Yes, there are quite a few previous threads about this (though they're quite hard to find:(). BrE usage is different from AmE usage here.

    Though I have the suspicion I've read that even in AmE you'd be likely to use a plural pronoun to refer to a team: so Team X has been very successful recently: they've won seventeen games rather than It's won seventeen games.

    Am I right, or have I got the wrong end of the stick?:(

    EDIT: cross-posted with dn88, who raises an interesting question.
    Further EDIT: I see Julian's answered it!:D
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
  6. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    Just to clarify: the US singular usage (for such a collection of individuals) applies only in the verb which immediately follows the collective name (it is a grammatical agreement, regardless of the sense). Later in the sentence or in the following sentence, AE will use the plural pronoun (i.e. AE uses 2 below not 3)..

    1) BrE "Manchester City, who have been imperious at home this season, fell behind to an early goal by Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho. They will need to do better in away games if they want to win the EPL"
    2) AmE "Manchester City, which has been imperious at home this season, fell behind to an early goal by Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho. They will need to do better in away games if they want to win the EPL"
    3) AmE does not use the singular verb later, as in :"Manchester City, which has been imperious at home this season, fell behind to an early goal by Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho. It will need to do better in away games if it wants to win the EPL"

    Cross posted with Loob - who has the correct end of a very nice-looking stick:D
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
  7. avi7 Member

    India
    Hindi
    I forgot to ask one thing: Would you regard this as personification (of the club)?

    Thank you.
     
  8. Edinburgher Senior Member

    Scotland
    German/English bilingual
    No, the 'who' in "who have" does not personify the club (which is, after all, singular). It refers to its members, who are persons already, so do not need to be personified.

    It would be personification if we said "who has", but we don't say that.
     

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