In the example given in Band Name Grammar, does it interfere if the use of the article is indefinite or definite? For example, "a band are playing" has the same grammar rule as "the band are playing "?

In my point of view, the group noun is what allows you to choose either singular or plural, depending on the interpretation of the same noun. But does it also have anything to do with the article?


1 Answer 1


Band is singular (you would say "A band is playing.")

Bands is plural (you would say "Bands are playing.")

Articles are determiners. What determiners do is answer the question "which X are we talking about?"

So with plural nouns, since you are not talking about 1 item, the question of "which" might not matter, unless you mean an entire group as 1 item ("which set of X's?")

  • 4
    Band is singular is nearly always true in AmE, but not BrE. Having said that, even in BrE the exact utterance A band are playing would be extremely unlikely because that indefinite article implies little or nothing is known about the specific band being referenced, so the speaker/writer isn't likely to be thinking in terms of [multiple] members of the band. In a different context, such as one of the musicians talking about an upcoming gig, The band are playing at Manchester next week is perfectly natural in BrE (as The family are going on holiday together next year). Oct 5, 2017 at 15:00

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