The royal bodyguard has/have deserted en route. In the sentence, which helping verb, has or have, should be used.

  • Why do you think that you should use "have". Would tell us what do you think yourself?
    – Cardinal
    Oct 5, 2016 at 23:16
  • The word 'bodyguard' has plural meaning, I think.
    – thein lwin
    Oct 5, 2016 at 23:28

2 Answers 2


The word bodyguard can indicate an individual or a military unit, and it is not clear how you are using it in your example. If you mean a military unit, then you should put:

The royal bodyguard has deserted en route.

However, since desertion is basically an individual act, it might be better to put:

The royal bodyguards have deserted en route.

It all depends on whether they acted individually or together (under command of their officers).

  • 3
    The quirk here is that, mostly in BrE, nouns for groups of people are inherently plural and take the plural form of the verb -- for example "the crowd are" instead of "the crowd is". So the answer depends on whether we're talking BrE or AmE -- in BrE "the royal bodyguard have" ought to be fine if they all deserted as a group. If it was a solo act then the one bodyguard "has deserted". Further reading
    – Andrew
    Oct 6, 2016 at 4:44

The noun "bodyguard" is singular. "Has" is the singular verb.

The royal bodyguard has deserted...

This is correct whether the bodyguard is an individual or a collective noun (which is still singular) for a group of bodyguards.

"Have" is correct for a plural:

The royal bodyguards have deserted...

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