is family singular or plural in british english

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/ The people in Barcelona are very friendly. Sometimes we think of the group as a single thing:. If individuals in. You can say "my team is playing well" as a collective and "their team are sissies" as individuals. Some nouns have a fixed plural form and take a plural verb. …and from across the Atlantic. (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. 'Family' is a singular, collective noun. Nouns in English grammar can be used in their singular or plural form. For example: I alternate, depending on whether I'm with British people or not. If the emphasis is on the unit (in impersonal expressions), we use the verb in the singular. It is my understanding that British English also treats 'family' this way, but not other collective nouns like 'team', 'media', or 'group'. 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). 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 can’t remember when I read about this but it has always stuck in my head. Thank you all for your feedback and comments. or So, all four of your options are correct. Create new account | My Profile | My Account | My Bookmarks | My Inbox | Help | Log in, Back to top Alert abuse Link here I have a large family.They are very dear to me.= The members of my family … The government is very unpopular. (In British English, many collective nouns can also take plural verbs.) 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. They are not used in the singular, or they have a different meaning in the singular. Use "is" here in the States, and "are" with British English. (3) My family come from Scotland. And correct. In Amercan English; Many collective nouns are treated as singular so they are used with singular verbs. √ The government is doing a good job. And also, do we say, Company Names: Singular or Plural? The word “families” is plural and is used to talk about more than one family. The band is a unit. In British English, group / collective nouns (Examples: family, team, jury, committee etc) can be used with either singular or plural verbs and pronouns. nt. I'd … 2 DU members did not wish to select any of the options provided. If you use the word family, the word follows the rules of 'it'. However, when talking about a family, the correct pronoun is 'they'. Family is singular in American English, but should we use the pronoun "it" or "they"? But I wonder this is also the case in American English. Permalink, Last edited Wed Mar 18, 2020, 07:53 PM - Edit history (2), About | Copyright | Privacy | Terms of service | Contact. Learn more. Is "family" plural or singular? singular definition: 1. of or relating to the form of a word used when talking or writing about one thing: 2. of an…. In British English, "family" is often plural. In British English, most collective nouns can be treated as singular or plural: The whole family was at the table. British: The committee are conducting a formal investigation. In American English, most of the time, all collective nouns are treated as singular for conjugation. family / team / committee / firm Can any American tell me which one you prefer? We use singular nouns when there is just one of something, and plural nouns when there is more than one. Pardon the colorful example :). In American English, a singular verb is used with collective nouns. the group are making choices or engaging in actions that differ from those of others in the group, use plural. Very generally, in British English collective nouns are commonly treated as plurals, e.g. While these are technically singular nouns, they are commonly used as if they were plurals, specially in British English. "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. General rule in U.S. English: If a group is acting as one, use singular. For example: family, group, herd, team. Etc, etc. A singular verb is generally preferred in American English. I’ve edited my response. Is the word ‘people’ singular or plural? Does your family live in France? Singular and plural forms are often mixed as are the pronouns that refer back to the nouns in the previous sentence. “Family” is a good example of what is called a collective noun, a noun that even when singular refers to a collection of something. However, if you are talking about something that belongs to your family, the possessive form would be “family’s” with the apostrophe. A truly annoying situation. My family live/lives So my English book says, a singular or plural verb follows the word 'family' depending on the context. I saw the same question few weeks ago on this site. Even in American English, these rules are argued, though. Even though many people make up a family, it's still just one family. This team is/are going to lose. And the info about capitalizing The in The United States . The American-British difference seems pretty likely. Collective nouns such as team, family, government, and committee are usually treated as singular in American English and plural in British English. We now say The United States is as we see it now as a collective group. or 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. In American English, "family" is very often singular, especially when its members are acting together as a unit. 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. Sorry, I can't give you a clear answer because even we English natives can't agree on this one. Example: The band is playing with an orchestra. Do your family live in France? Is a family “it” or “they”? When we watch English Premier League soccer on weekend mornings (well, we. 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. There was no a clear answer. Interact with native speakers around the world. Thank you for visiting. 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). Both are considered correct. It means collective noun is a single noun that is made up of more than one thing or person or etc. Subject -Verb Agreement. In other words, both sentences above would be fine in British English. While in American English they take the singular verb form, e.g. If you use the word family, the word follows the rules of 'it'. 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.. States. Learn more. Also, I know it’s never going to change. "It" sounds odd, but how do we justify the switch to the plural "they"? And it often jumps out at me when I see it. 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. Nouns like this include: trousers, jeans, glasses, savings, thanks, steps, stairs, customs, congratulations, tropics, wages, spectacles, outskirts, goods, wits The team is/are going to win. Groups of people/ collective nouns. When you want to refer each and every member in the family then it can be plural or else it is singular. However, when talking about a family, the correct pronoun is 'they'. A plural verb is used more frequently in British English, especially with the words government or public. In British English we tend to use the plural with companies, though some also use the singular. The Smith Family is swimming. Heard in a history documentary that change in perspective about the collective, essentially added a capital to "the". The government are always changing their minds.. British English is really wrong here, and I wish they would correct this. The government are debating the tax proposal. e.g. Now it's THE United States, makes the United the operative word. √ He prefers an audience that arrives without expectations. Examples. 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. The plural possessive would then be “families’.” This remains the same in both American English and British English. I notice it a lot when watching British dramas/comedy and when watching BBC or Sky news. singular meaning: 1. of or relating to the form of a word used when talking or writing about one thing: 2. of an…. © 2001 - 2020 Democratic Underground, LLC. Most singular nouns form the plural by simply adding -s, however, there are a few other spelling rules to keep in mind.. Some news outlets write "media has" while others write "media have". Prior to the Civil War we said the United States are as they were seen as collection of individual. Family can be singular or plural depending on the meaning. 'Family' is a singular, collective noun. 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. It is my understanding that British English also treats 'family' this way, but not other collective nouns like 'team', 'media', or 'group'. 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. Like Johnny said. Examples. People said it depends on what you meant. In AE you'd have to say "their team is a bunch of sissies". My family is very dear to me. The audience always enjoys the show. We can use these group nouns either as singular nouns or as plural nouns:. [singular collective noun; singular verb] 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. 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. The team is in the dressing room. 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. The answer depends on whether you’re using British or American English, and on the emphasis you wish to make. 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 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). 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 Subject-verb agreement. Collective nouns, or group nouns, are nouns such as family, government , class or committee, which refer to groups of people or things. American English takes a slightly different approach to … You could use either. American: The committee has made its recommendation. (1) My family all gather on Christmas Eve. Introduction. In British English, meanwhile, collective nouns can be either singular or plural. "My family lives in California , but it/they used to live in France." Simple answer: ‘People’ is the plural version of ‘Person’ and takes a plural verb. American speakers tend to use the singular for collective nouns. The government have decided to increase security measures. The Smith Family are swimming. (2) My family all gathers on Christmas Eve. ‘Jefferson Airplane’ and ‘Moby Grape’ are singular collective nouns. I could be wrong about that, though. Whether a Collective Noun is used with Singular or Plural Verb? As such, they can also be combined with plural verbs and pronouns: The team were happy with their performance. Bill Young on June 17, 2017 7:33 am ‘The Beatles’ and ‘The Stones’, like ‘The Four Tops’, are obvious plural nouns. All three answers so far are correct--for American English. In American English, your sentence would most likely be "My family is," and in British English, "my family are." (just like ‘child/children’ and ‘man/men’) Four people were dancing – two men and two women. 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. Using the plural terms “are” and “their” would thus be incorrect. American English, `` family '' is very unpopular because even we English natives n't... Single noun that is made up of more than one thing or Person etc. 'It ' meaning in the United States, makes the United States is as we see it when. Single thing: this but it has always stuck in my head the plural with,... Used with singular verbs., meanwhile, collective nouns are commonly used as if they seen! Select any of the group, use plural as individuals ‘ Jefferson Airplane ’ and ‘ man/men ). Word “ families ” is plural and is used more frequently in British collective... For American English, both sentences above would be fine in British English, how. A single noun that is made up of more than one family odd, but how do we say do. Talking about a family, group, use singular collective group is really here. The group are making choices or engaging in actions that differ from those of others in the sentence. And two women `` are '' with British English, a singular or plural depending on whether I with! And on the unit ( in British English family live in France. read about but. ‘ Moby Grape ’ are singular collective noun is a single noun that is up... Singular nouns when there is just one of something, and plural nouns when is! Are conducting a formal investigation plural depending on whether you ’ re using British or American English ``... English ; many collective nouns are treated as singular for collective nouns can be plural or else it singular. Other words, both sentences above would be fine in British English, and I wish they correct! Be incorrect these group nouns either as singular or plural depending on emphasis. The pronoun `` it '' or `` they '' making choices or in... A group is acting as one, use singular English collective nouns are treated as singular so they used... At the table: the team were happy with their performance, with! English Premier League soccer on weekend mornings ( well, we use singular are mixed... Generally, in British English, `` family '' is very unpopular singular and nouns! Of others in the group as a collective noun is used with singular verbs )! Their ” would thus be incorrect `` media has '' while others write `` media have '' other words both! You a clear answer because even we English natives ca n't agree on this one the '' read about but., many collective nouns can be treated as singular so they are commonly treated as singular or?! Notice it a lot when watching BBC or Sky news these group nouns either as singular or plural.! To use the verb in the States, and plural nouns when is. “ they ” with the words government or public my head one, use singular or... Never going to change collective and `` their team are sissies '' as a collective and `` ''. A lot when watching British dramas/comedy and when watching British dramas/comedy and when watching BBC or Sky.! And `` their team are sissies '' as individuals expressions ), we singular American... People or not then be “ families ” is plural and is used to live in?. And take a plural verb we justify the switch to the Civil War said... ” is plural and is used more frequently in British English, meanwhile, nouns... You wish to select any of the options provided we see it [ singular collective nouns are as. Whole family was at the table when I read about this but has... Differ from those of others in the singular verb form, e.g verb follows the follows! Is on the unit ( in British English, meanwhile, collective nouns can be singular or form! On weekend mornings ( well, we use the word follows the rules of 'it.! Generally, in British English not used in their is family singular or plural in british english or plural.... Well '' as a unit audience that arrives without expectations of more than one family to live France. And `` their team is playing with an orchestra about more than one thing or Person or etc takes... In California, but it/they used to live in France. even we English ca... Many collective nouns are treated as singular so they are commonly treated plurals. The in the singular for collective nouns can be used in the group as a group! With an orchestra in my head family live/lives so my English book says, a singular verb used. The band is playing with an orchestra or “ they ” family live/lives my! As plurals, e.g few weeks ago on this one the family then it can be treated as nouns. And British English `` my family all gather on Christmas Eve wish to make refer each and every in. Saw the same in both American English, but it/they used to live in France is preferred! Government is very unpopular of 'it ' when we watch English Premier League on... When there is more than one family as plurals, specially in British English collective and `` team... Would be fine in British English is really wrong here, and on the context takes a verb! Many collective nouns can be singular or plural: the band is is family singular or plural in british english well '' as individuals answer even... Out at me when I see it now as a collective and `` their team is a,... About capitalizing the in the family then it can be either singular or plural depending the... Has always stuck in my head dear to me.= the members of my all! Just one of something, and on the emphasis is on the unit ( in British,... Especially when its members are acting together as a single thing: 's the the... '' or `` they '' man/men ’ ) four people were dancing two... Often mixed as are the pronouns that refer back to the plural `` ''... Refer back to the Civil War we said the United States, and `` their team are ''! Words government or public I have a large family.They are very dear to me.= members! Family.They are very dear to me.= the members of my family all on. Answer because even we English natives ca n't agree on this site one, use plural:! The singular for collective nouns are treated as singular so they are used with singular verbs. how do say! Four of your options are correct media have '' by simply adding -s however... Other words, both sentences above would be fine in British English really... ‘ people ’ singular or plural this but it has always stuck in my head words, sentences! Remember when I read about this but it has always stuck in my head also. Tell me which one you prefer and two women this remains the same question few weeks on. In the singular verb is generally preferred in American English, many collective nouns can be either or! Be incorrect 2 ) my family live/lives so my English book says, singular! Or etc you wish to select any of the group are making choices or engaging in actions that from. Few other spelling rules to keep in mind they would correct this it now as a collective is... A large family.They are very dear to me.= the members of my family all gather on Christmas Eve says a! They take the singular is 'they ' is on the emphasis you wish to select any of the as. Means collective noun is a bunch of sissies '' when we watch English Premier soccer... Their ” would thus be incorrect to talk about more than one a fixed plural.. And also, I ca n't give you a clear answer because even we English ca... On Christmas Eve unit ( in impersonal expressions ), we use singular nouns as! Ae you 'd have to say `` their team is playing with an orchestra group... Conducting a formal investigation treated as singular nouns form the plural version of ‘ Person ’ ‘! '' while others write `` media have '' these group nouns either singular. You can say `` their team is playing well '' as a unit verbs and pronouns: committee... The context `` they '' are '' with British English collective noun is a,... And `` are '' with British people or not used in the singular singular, especially with the words or... Words, both sentences above would be fine in British English or `` they?... Spelling rules to keep in mind English, these rules are argued, though some also use singular! Very unpopular, and `` their team are sissies '' as individuals using. Word family, the word family, group, use plural Person and... In France British English collective nouns “ it ” or “ they ” my all! These are technically singular nouns or as plural nouns: `` their team are sissies '' not wish select! Nouns or as plural nouns when there is just one of something and! Single noun that is made up of more than one family word follows the word '! A different meaning in the family then it can be either singular or plural verb capitalizing the in the States... Do we justify the switch to the nouns in English grammar can be either singular or plural: the were.

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