Isn’t staff a collective noun? What is its plural form?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by goldencypress, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. goldencypress

    goldencypress Senior Member

    India
    India - Malayalam
    Isn’t staff (meaning employees or assistants) a collective noun?

    Because it is a collective noun, it cannot have the plural the form “staffs”, can it?

    Then why do some dictionaries list staffs as the plural form of staff (meaning employees)?

    Which is better – “a member of the staff” or a “staff member”?

    Is there any other collocation that can be used to describe the number in staff?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. There's nothing wrong with 'The staffs of three schools met for a conference'.
     
  3. goldencypress

    goldencypress Senior Member

    India
    India - Malayalam
    Then how about EQIPMENTS or FURNITURES from three old labs were moved to the new building?
     
  4. e2efour Senior Member

    England (aged 75)
    UK English
    Equipment and furniture are not collective nouns. They are non-count nouns (e.g. we do not say a furniture).
    If you want to use a plural form for these nouns, you could say pieces of equipment/furniture (or some equipment/furniture).
     
  5. goldencypress

    goldencypress Senior Member

    India
    India - Malayalam
    Thank you, e2efour.

    How do we say one individual of staff. A member of the staff or staff member?
     
  6. e2efour Senior Member

    England (aged 75)
    UK English
    One individual staff member can be referred to as a member of staff or a member of the staff.
     

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