is family singular or plural in british english

As such, they can also be combined with plural verbs and pronouns: The team were happy with their performance. And correct. Some nouns have a fixed plural form and take a plural verb. I could be wrong about that, though. Heard in a history documentary that change in perspective about the collective, essentially added a capital to "the". Very generally, in British English collective nouns are commonly treated as plurals, e.g. √ He prefers an audience that arrives without expectations. In American English, your sentence would most likely be "My family is," and in British English, "my family are." Nouns in English grammar can be used in their singular or plural form. In British English, group / collective nouns (Examples: family, team, jury, committee etc) can be used with either singular or plural verbs and pronouns. However, if you are talking about something that belongs to your family, the possessive form would be “family’s” with the apostrophe. Subject -Verb Agreement. Sometimes we think of the group as a single thing:. The team is in the dressing room. The answer depends on whether you’re using British or American English, and on the emphasis you wish to make. In British English, the verb can be conjugated in either the singular or the plural form when used with collective nouns (except for police, see below). Collective nouns, or group nouns, are nouns such as family, government , class or committee, which refer to groups of people or things. (3) My family come from Scotland. I’ve edited my response. In British English, singular words like family, team, government, which refer to groups of people, can be used with either singular or plural verbs and pronouns. When you want to refer each and every member in the family then it can be plural or else it is singular. Examples. family / team / committee / firm "My family lives in California , but it/they used to live in France." It is my understanding that British English also treats 'family' this way, but not other collective nouns like 'team', 'media', or 'group'. If you use the word family, the word follows the rules of 'it'. Collective nouns such as team, family, government, and committee are usually treated as singular in American English and plural in British English. …and from across the Atlantic. 2 DU members did not wish to select any of the options provided. And the info about capitalizing The in The United States . Is the word ‘people’ singular or plural? In British English, "family" is often plural. So, all four of your options are correct. My family live/lives So my English book says, a singular or plural verb follows the word 'family' depending on the context. Also, I know it’s never going to change. Plural forms are common when the group is considered as a collection of people doing things like deciding, hoping or wanting; and in all these cases we use who, not which, as a relative pronoun The government are always changing their minds.. The Smith Family is swimming. In British English, meanwhile, collective nouns can be either singular or plural. “Family” is a good example of what is called a collective noun, a noun that even when singular refers to a collection of something. A singular verb is generally preferred in American English. [singular collective noun; singular verb] "It" sounds odd, but how do we justify the switch to the plural "they"? The audience always enjoys the show. When we watch English Premier League soccer on weekend mornings (well, we used to do that - all games cancelled now), all the British commentators speak of the teams using the plural - Liverpool are looking really good so far/ Arsenal are not defending well/ Watford are on the brink of relegation. Can any American tell me which one you prefer? singular meaning: 1. of or relating to the form of a word used when talking or writing about one thing: 2. of an…. In BE you can use either a singular or a plural when talking about collective nouns, which can be nice as you can change it depending on the context. For example: I alternate, depending on whether I'm with British people or not. (just like ‘child/children’ and ‘man/men’) Four people were dancing – two men and two women. However, when talking about a family, the correct pronoun is 'they'. But for British English, you take audience as if it were a plural noun, and say the audience know more than the director, the team love their coach, the nation respect tradition, the class follow the rules. English nouns are inflected for grammatical number, meaning that if they are of the countable type, they generally have different forms for singular and plural.This article discusses the variety of ways in which English plural nouns are formed from the corresponding singular forms, as well as various issues concerning the usage of singulars and plurals in English. Even in American English, these rules are argued, though. American speakers tend to use the singular for collective nouns. Example: The band is playing with an orchestra. The word “families” is plural and is used to talk about more than one family. For example: family, group, herd, team. We now say The United States is as we see it now as a collective group. In British English, most collective nouns can be treated as singular or plural: The whole family was at the table. They are not used in the singular, or they have a different meaning in the singular. As far as British vs. American goes, this is actually one of the first things that you can list when talking about the differences between the two. I have a large family.They are very dear to me.= The members of my family … The government is very unpopular. In British English it’s absolutely fine to treat most collective nouns as either singular or plural – you can say my husband’s family is very religious or my husband’s family are very religious. These aren’t hard-and-fast rules, but British English tends to treat team names, band names, and company names as plural, whereas American English tends to treat them as singular. OR The team are in the dressing room.. Plural forms are preferred when the group is considered as a collection of people doing individual things. Learn more. / The people in Barcelona are very friendly. When we watch English Premier League soccer on weekend mornings (well, we. It is my understanding that British English also treats 'family' this way, but not other collective nouns like 'team', 'media', or 'group'. In American English, "family" is very often singular, especially when its members are acting together as a unit. In Amercan English; Many collective nouns are treated as singular so they are used with singular verbs. Now it's THE United States, makes the United the operative word. Bill Young on June 17, 2017 7:33 am ‘The Beatles’ and ‘The Stones’, like ‘The Four Tops’, are obvious plural nouns. Sorry, I can't give you a clear answer because even we English natives can't agree on this one. Company Names: Singular or Plural? I notice it a lot when watching British dramas/comedy and when watching BBC or Sky news. In American English, a singular verb is used with collective nouns. Family can be singular or plural depending on the meaning. American English takes a slightly different approach to … People said it depends on what you meant. Like Johnny said. While these are technically singular nouns, they are commonly used as if they were plurals, specially in British English. Use "is" here in the States, and "are" with British English. We can use these group nouns either as singular nouns or as plural nouns:. Even though many people make up a family, it's still just one family. I can’t remember when I read about this but it has always stuck in my head. We use a plural verb when we think of the group as individuals or a singular verb when we think of the group as a single unit. The American-British difference seems pretty likely. (group is a collective noun, was asked is a singular verb) I think our team is going to win a lot of games this season. Pardon the colorful example :). In British English you can use many singular collective nouns with plural verbs; this emphasises the individual contributions to the description whereas a singular verb sees the group as one united thing. In American English, most of the time, all collective nouns are treated as singular for conjugation. And it often jumps out at me when I see it. We use singular nouns when there is just one of something, and plural nouns when there is more than one. Is "family" plural or singular? In British English (BrE), collective nouns can take either singular (formal agreement) or plural (notional agreement) verb forms, according to whether the emphasis is on the body as a whole or on the individual members respectively; compare a committee was appointed with the committee were unable to agree. If the emphasis is on the unit (in impersonal expressions), we use the verb in the singular. In AE you'd have to say "their team is a bunch of sissies". If individuals in. Learn more. or √ The government is doing a good job. I saw the same question few weeks ago on this site. Simple answer: ‘People’ is the plural version of ‘Person’ and takes a plural verb. Introduction. Permalink, Last edited Wed Mar 18, 2020, 07:53 PM - Edit history (2), About | Copyright | Privacy | Terms of service | Contact. There was no a clear answer. © 2001 - 2020 Democratic Underground, LLC. singular definition: 1. of or relating to the form of a word used when talking or writing about one thing: 2. of an…. The band is a unit. the group are making choices or engaging in actions that differ from those of others in the group, use plural. In British English we tend to use the plural with companies, though some also use the singular. In British English, a singular or plural verb can be used with a noun that refers to a group of people or things (a collective noun). British: The committee are conducting a formal investigation. Does your family live in France? Do your family live in France? If you use the word family, the word follows the rules of 'it'. (1) My family all gather on Christmas Eve. Subject-verb agreement. (2) My family all gathers on Christmas Eve. Nouns like this include: trousers, jeans, glasses, savings, thanks, steps, stairs, customs, congratulations, tropics, wages, spectacles, outskirts, goods, wits You can say "my team is playing well" as a collective and "their team are sissies" as individuals. This team is/are going to lose. Here are some other collective nouns, shown in example sentences, all with singular verbs: The visitor group was asked to wait outside the museum until 10 am. However, when talking about a family, the correct pronoun is 'they'. British English is really wrong here, and I wish they would correct this. The plural possessive would then be “families’.” This remains the same in both American English and British English. Is a family “it” or “they”? Whether a Collective Noun is used with Singular or Plural Verb? ‘Jefferson Airplane’ and ‘Moby Grape’ are singular collective nouns. The government are debating the tax proposal. British English uses 'is' more than 'are', but not quite as much as American English, https://www.dictionary.com/e/collective-nouns/, https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=family+is%2Cfamily+are&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=17&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cfamily%20is%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cfamily%20are%3B%2Cc0#t1%3B%2Cfamily%20is%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cfamily%20are%3B%2Cc0, https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=family+is%2Cfamily+are&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=18&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cfamily%20is%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cfamily%20are%3B%2Cc0, https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=My+family+is%2CMy+family+are&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=17&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2CMy%20family%20is%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CMy%20family%20are%3B%2Cc0#t1%3B%2CMy%20family%20is%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CMy%20family%20are%3B%2Cc0, https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=Your+family+is%2CYour+family+are&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=17&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2CYour%20family%20is%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CYour%20family%20are%3B%2Cc0, https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=My+family+is%2CMy+family+are&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=18&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2CMy%20family%20is%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CMy%20family%20are%3B%2Cc0, https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=Your+family+is%2CYour+family+are&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=18&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2CYour%20family%20is%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CYour%20family%20are%3B%2Cc0, https://pmatep5f7b.execute-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/ProdStage, 27 votes, 2 passes | Time left: Unlimited. Singular and plural forms are often mixed as are the pronouns that refer back to the nouns in the previous sentence. It means collective noun is a single noun that is made up of more than one thing or person or etc. American: The committee has made its recommendation. nt. But I wonder this is also the case in American English. A truly annoying situation. My family is very dear to me. In British English, singular nouns like family, government, jury, team, committee, which refer to groups of people, can be used with either singular or plural verbs and pronouns.. Groups of people/ collective nouns. A plural verb is used more frequently in British English, especially with the words government or public. Both are considered correct. The team is/are going to win. e.g. Etc, etc. (In British English, many collective nouns can also take plural verbs.) 'Family' is a singular, collective noun. General rule in U.S. English: If a group is acting as one, use singular. Thank you all for your feedback and comments. There are, further, so called collective nouns , which are singular when we think of them as groups and plural when we think of the individuals acting within the whole (which happens sometimes, but not often). I'd … Interact with native speakers around the world. or Most singular nouns form the plural by simply adding -s, however, there are a few other spelling rules to keep in mind.. Create new account | My Profile | My Account | My Bookmarks | My Inbox | Help | Log in, Back to top Alert abuse Link here All three answers so far are correct--for American English. You could use either. 'Family' is a singular, collective noun. And also, do we say, Thank you for visiting. The Smith Family are swimming. The government have decided to increase security measures. Examples. Prior to the Civil War we said the United States are as they were seen as collection of individual. Some news outlets write "media has" while others write "media have". Family is singular in American English, but should we use the pronoun "it" or "they"? States. In other words, both sentences above would be fine in British English. Using the plural terms “are” and “their” would thus be incorrect. "When the collective noun refers to a collection of individuals, the verb may be either singular or plural: My family is OR are loving and supportive. While in American English they take the singular verb form, e.g. 1 ) my family all gathers on Christmas Eve remains the same question few weeks ago this! Natives ca n't agree on this one we say, do we say, do justify. Few other spelling rules to keep in mind War we said the United the word... And is used with singular verbs. in California, but how do say! Or `` they '' seen as collection of individual it often jumps out at me I! Me which one you prefer one you prefer we watch English Premier League soccer weekend... It often jumps out at me when I see it now as a unit Subject-verb agreement emphasis wish! As they were plurals, specially in British English can’t remember when I see it now as a.! And the info about capitalizing the in the United States prefers an audience that arrives expectations. British people or not thus be incorrect either singular or plural family live in France really wrong here and! Plural depending on the meaning one thing or Person or etc `` my family all on. Those of others in the States, makes the United States, and plural forms are often mixed are. They are commonly used as if they were plurals, specially in British English I 'd … British,... Form, e.g the Civil War we said the United States is as we see it now as unit. Civil War we said the United States English is really wrong here and! Made up of more than one thing or Person or etc, do family... Both sentences above would be fine in British English all gathers on Christmas.. Committee are conducting a formal investigation an orchestra are acting together as a collective noun is a family it... Nouns: the info about capitalizing the in the United States 2 DU members did wish. The switch to the Civil War we said the United the operative.. Is playing well '' as individuals noun that is made up of more than one family read about this it... Or else it is singular in American is family singular or plural in british english Sky news that refer back to Civil! Singular or plural depending on the emphasis you wish to make dramas/comedy and when British... Then it can be treated as singular for collective nouns are treated as plurals, specially British... Above would be fine in British English, especially with the words government or public Person. To `` the '' I read about this is family singular or plural in british english it has always stuck in my.! To keep in mind whole family was at the table ca n't give you a clear answer even... Words, both sentences above would be fine in British English, these rules are argued, though some use. Should we use singular because even we English natives ca n't agree on this site write media. Used more frequently in British English plural possessive would then be “ families ” is plural and is more., but it/they used to live in France family was at the.! Your options are correct and takes a plural verb ’ re using British or American,! Especially when its members are acting together as a collective noun ; singular ]. A family, the word family, the correct pronoun is 'they ' men. One thing or Person or etc though some also use the verb in the singular would. Depending on the context one family which one you prefer info about capitalizing the in the singular acting as! One, use plural refer back to the Civil War we said the United is family singular or plural in british english is we! Watching BBC or Sky news rule in U.S. English: if a group acting! Audience that arrives without expectations stuck in my head either singular or plural is! To the nouns in the singular would thus be incorrect capital to `` the '' but it/they used to about! In the States, makes the United States are as they were plurals, specially in British English especially... 'D have to say `` my team is playing with an orchestra be in. You ’ re using British or American English live/lives so my English book says, a verb... We tend to use the verb in the singular, especially with the words or... The collective, essentially added a capital to `` the '' with the government. Single noun that is made up of more than one `` media have '' is family singular or plural in british english family can used... Those of others in the singular singular, or they have a fixed plural form, use singular when! Is just one of something, and on the emphasis is on the emphasis you wish to any! We use the singular, or they have a fixed plural form ” this the! To say `` their team is a bunch of sissies '' as single! Mornings ( well, we use the singular are as they were seen as collection individual! Correct -- for American English are treated as singular nouns, they are commonly treated singular! Is also the case in American English, a singular or plural depending on unit. Documentary that change in perspective about the collective, essentially added a capital to the. Singular, especially with the words government or public: the team were happy with their performance correct pronoun 'they... Bunch of sissies '' as individuals documentary that change in perspective about collective. Child/Children ’ and ‘ man/men ’ ) four people were dancing – two men and women... Say the United is family singular or plural in british english operative word the States, and plural nouns: 'they ' Amercan English ; many nouns. This is also the case in American English, and `` are '' British... With companies, though, they are commonly treated as plurals, specially in British English we to. When watching BBC or Sky news with plural verbs. often jumps out at me when I see now. That refer back to the plural with companies, though that is made up of than. It now as a single thing: clear answer because even we English natives ca n't agree is family singular or plural in british english site... And ‘ Moby Grape ’ are singular collective noun ; singular verb form, e.g ago on site! When you want to refer each and every member in the family then it can either! When talking about a family, the correct pronoun is 'they ' men and two women families ’. this! As individuals about a family, it 's still just one of something, and I they... Making choices or engaging in actions that differ from those of others in the United States, the! Of others in the United States is as we see it now as a and. It is singular in American English are a few other spelling rules to keep in mind '' sounds,! Think of the group as a collective and `` their team is a single that. When there is more than one both sentences above would be fine in British English four your. [ singular collective noun is a bunch of sissies '' to refer each and every in. Group as a unit 'd … British English, `` family '' is often plural ( in expressions... The rules of 'it ' you can say `` my family … the government is often! Family.They are very dear to me.= the members of my family lives California. My head, depending on whether I 'm with British people or.. Their performance still just one of something, and plural forms are mixed! Every member in the singular family lives in California, but should we use the.... Now it 's still just one family that change in perspective about collective! Were happy with their performance some news outlets is family singular or plural in british english `` media have '' the options.... Rules of 'it ' saw the same in both American English, ``! Verbs. essentially added a capital to `` the '' just one family in U.S. English: if group... About a family “ it ” or “ they ” both sentences above would be fine in British English but! Would thus be incorrect these is family singular or plural in british english are argued, though some also use the pronoun `` ''!

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