0

Often I hear things like ' The crowd were noisy', which I feel is wrong - a crowd is a singular entity. What about 'The Commonwealth games is /are starting soon'?

  • Is this British English, or what? Please add the appropriate tag. – Nathan Tuggy Mar 13 '17 at 8:13
  • British English for this question! – Tim Mar 13 '17 at 8:25
1

The crowd were noisy

The crowd was noisy

Both are fine. This is just an issue of dialectal. In British English, a collective noun is often treated as a plural entity. But in American English, it's singular.


The Commonwealth games is/are starting soon.

In this case, are should be used because it's plural.

  • Except that the 'Commonwealth Games' could be construed as one thing, or several. – Tim Mar 13 '17 at 8:57
  • @Tim It's plural noun because you don't capitalized the Game. It could be considered as a singular noun if it were capitalized. – user178049 Mar 13 '17 at 8:59
  • So Commonwealth Games is singular, whereas Commonwealth games is plural? – Tim Mar 13 '17 at 9:02
  • @Tim it could be, it depends on the context. – user178049 Mar 13 '17 at 9:09
  • So that narrows it down to a 50/50, where we started. – Tim Mar 13 '17 at 9:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.