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Are both the following sentences correct?

1- Hey John don't shout before you win. Let the match begin. You will know who the best team in the world are.

2- Hey John don't shout before you win. Let the match begin. You will know which the best team in the world is.

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Both are completely fine in British English. There is a slight difference in meaning, because the first is implicitly referring to the team as a bunch of players, while the second is referring to the team as a unit.

American English tends not to accept the plural verb ("are") with a collective like "team", so I believe many Americans would find the first sentence unacceptable.

| improve this answer | |
  • The American and British English grammatical differences page on Wikipedia has a good description of the differences between BrE and AmE treatment of collective nouns. – ColleenV Sep 1 '17 at 16:47
  • For the record, Americans would not necessarily find the usage unacceptable and if they did, they are just ignorant, frankly. Most differences with these types of issues are really not an issue at all. I doubt a good English teacher (for adolescents) would call it unacceptable. The teacher might point out it is British usage though. – Lambie Dec 3 '19 at 18:56

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