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I'm a learning English language as a hobby and I hope you will provide me your valuable time to answer my question.

I'm confuse over proper to-be verb in following sentence.

The Eagles ___ [is, are] my favorite rock band.

I mused and wrote is as answer, but my Sir later told me that it should be are. "Eagles" is a name of the band and it should be singular, isn't it?

For example,

Tim is hungry.

Can you please explain me, why it is are and not is?

P.S. Band do contain many members, but it is a single band. That was the reasoning while answering.

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  • 2
    Related: Companies, singluar or plural; Teams, singluar or plural.
    – Davo
    Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 15:42
  • In British English, "The Eagles is..." would be a very odd usage. (I have never ever heard anyone say "The Beatles is" or "The Beatles was".) In American English it is probably OK.
    – rjpond
    Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 18:41

2 Answers 2

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This is a tricky one.

If the band was playing tonight, you might tell your friend:

The Eagles are in town tonight; let's go to the concert

Here, the plural are is required. You are speaking about the members of the band.

But if your friend was asking you which band you liked best, you might say:

**The Eagles is the name of my favourite band.

Because The Eagles is regarded here as a singular description.

So, it depends on whether you are using the name in a singular or plural context.

In much the same way you could say:

Peaches and cream is my favourite dessert

when you regard the combination as a single dish

and

Peaches and cream are not recommended for people who are dieting

when you regard them as separate items.

In response to your question, both The Eagles are... and The Eagles is ... are possible in that context. It's a question of how the speaker sees them, as a unit or as individuals. You were not wrong.

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  • Peaches and cream is a name of single dessert. In your 2nd sentence, peaches and cream are two separate eatables items. Whereas, band is a name of single entity in both of your sentences. Sorry, I am arguing because I am confuse.
    – Cicada
    Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 15:36
  • The Eagles may be regarded as a collective noun which groups the members of the band. There is no rule regarding singular or plural verbs for collective nouns, except to be consistent and to fit the context of the sentence. Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 15:41
  • Not sure, but I think, I got my answer in the comment above related to companies. I think, Eagles in my sentence refer to the individual members of the band. On the other hand, you can say, "Eagles is one of the best band I know" because here are you talking about band as a whole and not their members. Am I correct in this usage?
    – Cicada
    Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 15:51
  • You can correctly say either The Eagles is one of the best bands and The Eagles are one of the best bands. As per my comment above. Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 15:53
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Plural proper nouns are still plural, so you use the plural form of the verb when they’re the subject. They also take a plural pronoun.

  • The Eagles are in town.
  • They are in town.
  • The Eagles are a band.

However, if you refer to “the band” rather than the group name, that is indeed singular and gets a singular pronoun:

  • The band is in town.
  • It is in town.

It seems English can’t have a rule without at least one exception, though. As @Lambie points out, a singular verb is not wrong when it links a plural proper noun with a singular noun:

  • The Eagles is a band.

So many bands, teams and other groups have plural names that these patterns may still be followed even for rare singular names:

  • The Heat are in town.
  • They are in town.
  • The Heat are a sports team.
  • The team is in town.
  • It is in town.
  • The Heat is a sports team.
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  • @Lambie That may be not wrong, but I’m not sure it’s right either. It’s worth adding. Thanks!
    – StephenS
    Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 16:29
  • Actually, I take that back. It sounds horrible. :) Sorry.
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 16:43
  • @Lambie It’s valid if we take “The Eagles” as a reference instead of a usage. I wouldn’t say it, but some would.
    – StephenS
    Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 17:22
  • I'm not sure that "Plural proper nouns are still plural" is the explanation. If you were talking about a band with a singular name, such as The Who, would you say "The Who is..." or "The Who are..."? In BrE at least we would usually say "The Who are", Then again, "The team are" and "The band are" are also accepted usage in BrE - not so much in American English. ( lexico.com/grammar/matching-verbs-to-collective-nouns )
    – rjpond
    Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 19:04
  • @rjpond Excuse me, but The team are is acceptable. It is just not used as much. No good AmE native speaker teacher would correct that. We all know, basically, that Brits use it more, but that does not mean we do not use it.
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 2, 2020 at 19:20

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