Quantcast

Got Homework?

Connect with other students for help. It's a free community.

  • across
    MIT Grad Student
    Online now
  • laura*
    Helped 1,000 students
    Online now
  • Hero
    College Math Guru
    Online now

Here's the question you clicked on:

55 members online
  • 0 replying
  • 0 viewing

dta255 Group Title

When in the case of collective nouns, why do we sometimes use plural verbs. For instance, "The committee have decided" And can you explain a means to distinguish this?

  • one year ago
  • one year ago

  • This Question is Closed
  1. lgbasallote Group Title
    Best Response
    You've already chosen the best response.
    Medals 1

    you use "The committee" as singular if the verb done is singular (which means the verb is done as one or in other words united) for example: The committee decides the fate of the convicted murderers We use "decides" because the committee functions as one you usually use "committee" as plural if there are two or more sides doing the verb. for example: The committee are arguing whether the bill should be passed or not we use "are" because the committee obviously cannot argue as ONE. Therefore,to have an argument, there are two or more sides. So, you use "are" does that help?

    • one year ago
  2. cathyangs Group Title
    Best Response
    You've already chosen the best response.
    Medals 1

    Huh. I've never seen this way of wording. I've always heard collective nouns treated as singular, as in "The committee has decided". I would think that for two or more sides, you would still use a collective noun as singular. For example: The class was debating the merits of a dress code. "The class was debating the merits of a dress code" doesn't seem to flow, and sounds very unnatural to me. In my personal opinion, I would use singular descriptive words http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/collective+noun Read the bit on American English and British English, if you have some time.

    • one year ago
  3. ParthKohli Group Title
    Best Response
    You've already chosen the best response.
    Medals 0

    Cathyags is very, very correct with his English in this case; we do use a singular collective nouns.

    • one year ago
  4. lgbasallote Group Title
    Best Response
    You've already chosen the best response.
    Medals 1

    @ParthKohli and @cathyangs no..you use collective nouns is plural...like i have said above.. see here http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/collectivenoun.htm

    • one year ago
  5. lgbasallote Group Title
    Best Response
    You've already chosen the best response.
    Medals 1

    you can use collective nouns as plural*

    • one year ago
  6. wach Group Title
    Best Response
    You've already chosen the best response.
    Medals 0

    'The committee have decided' is actually wrong. For all collective nouns, you would use the singular ('has') . Cathyangs is correct.

    • one year ago
  7. dta255 Group Title
    Best Response
    You've already chosen the best response.
    Medals 1

    I appreciate your input but I believe lgbasallote is correct, you can use it as a plural or a singular noun. http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/Collective-Nouns.topicArticleId-251279,articleId-251209.html

    • one year ago
  8. dta255 Group Title
    Best Response
    You've already chosen the best response.
    Medals 1

    I feel like it is only a result of personal preference. I honestly have never seen it used this way before.

    • one year ago
  9. dta255 Group Title
    Best Response
    You've already chosen the best response.
    Medals 1

    What Cliffnotes is insinuating is that you may use either plural or singular but in some case could the plural and the singular both be correct?

    • one year ago
  10. lgbasallote Group Title
    Best Response
    You've already chosen the best response.
    Medals 1

    people usually get confused with using collective nouns that's why it's usually mistaken to be singular always. That's why you rarely hear it used correctly and no you cant use collective nouns as plural AND singular. it's like looking left and right at the same time.

    • one year ago
  11. wach Group Title
    Best Response
    You've already chosen the best response.
    Medals 0

    So it's more of a colloquialism? I am really curious as to what the correct answer is, now. :/

    • one year ago
  12. lgbasallote Group Title
    Best Response
    You've already chosen the best response.
    Medals 1

    no it's not a colloquialism. collective nouns really function as plural or singular, depending on the verb. like i said before, collective nouns are one big noun composed of smaller nouns. for example, a council is composed of councilors. If these councilors function as one, then they function *collectively* so council will be used as singular. However, if the councilors are separated, then they are plural because singular is only for.. well single or one. So, council will be used as plural. However, people usually tend to use collective nouns as singular and for plural, they just use something like council members. So they won't make mistakes and get humiliated. That is probably why a lot of you don't know that collective nouns function as plural too because it is rarely used

    • one year ago
  13. dta255 Group Title
    Best Response
    You've already chosen the best response.
    Medals 1

    Thank you, lgbasallote.

    • one year ago
  14. wach Group Title
    Best Response
    You've already chosen the best response.
    Medals 0

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge, then. : )

    • one year ago
    • Attachments:

See more questions >>>

Your question is ready. Sign up for free to start getting answers.

spraguer (Moderator)
5 → View Detailed Profile

is replying to Can someone tell me what button the professor is hitting...

23

  • Teamwork 19 Teammate
  • Problem Solving 19 Hero
  • You have blocked this person.
  • ✔ You're a fan Checking fan status...

Thanks for being so helpful in mathematics. If you are getting quality help, make sure you spread the word about OpenStudy.

This is the testimonial you wrote.
You haven't written a testimonial for Owlfred.