That young couple has decided not to divorce.

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bamboo--tw

Senior Member
ROC/Mandarin
That young couple has decided not to divorce.


Hi,
Does the above sound right? Is it better to reword it as "Those young couples have decided not to divorce?" Thanks.
 
  • domangelo

    Senior Member
    United States English
    In AE it would be "That young couple has decided..."
    However, collective nouns are treated somewhat differently in BE, so I'll wait for someone else to weigh in.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    If there is only one couples, how would you say it?
    I, personally, would use a plural verb because I'd be thinking of the two separate individuals agreeing on a decision. The sentence would be:
    That young couple have decided not to divorce.

    As domangelo implies, BrE uses singular verbs for collective nouns when we're focusing on the group as a whole, and plural verbs when we're focusing on the indivual members of the group.

    Are you studying American English, bamboo? If so, follow domangelo's usage, not mine ;)
     
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