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Are/is - explanation

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Are/is - explanation

04 Jul 2012 16:26

Manchester United ARE a football Club.

Team Sky IS a professional cycling team.

Sort your language out will you?
I don't get this.
DominicDecoco
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04 Jul 2012 16:39

Collective things. Sometimes you use the strictly grammatical number agreement ("ManU is"). Sometimes you go for agreement ad sensum ("ManU are"). Both are perfectly fine in this context, but in some cases sticking to the strict grammatical number is just pedantic ("a ton of people is causing trouble"? Yeah I don't think so).
User avatar hrotha
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04 Jul 2012 16:42

hrotha wrote:Collective things. Sometimes you use the strictly grammatical number agreement ("ManU is"). Sometimes you go for agreement ad sensum ("ManU are"). Both are perfectly fine in this context, but in some cases sticking to the strict grammatical number is just pedantic ("a ton of people is causing trouble"? Yeah I don't think so).

You is right.
User avatar Don't be late Pedro
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04 Jul 2012 22:09

Fairly straightforward, it's just collective nouns. Both the examples in the OP could be swapped around and still be correct.

Typically, British English treats the collective noun in the plural (as the collective comprises multiple parts) while American English treats the collective noun in the singular (as the multiple parts combine to form one collective), though this is not totally uniform.

This applies to other aux verbs too, eg "Team Sky is-SING a cycling team" but "Team Sky have-PL signed Mark Cavendish", or "Manchester United are-PL a football team" but "Manchester United has-SING signed Wayne Rooney".
User avatar Libertine Seguros
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04 Jul 2012 22:27

Manchester United are (players) a Football club. Because players make it a club.
Also correct Manchester United is/are playing against Barcelona. (Because it is a clash of teams and players.)
Manchester United is/are spending a lot of money (board, but again board is the part of the team).

This is how I understand it. And both are correct.
User avatar DenisMenchov
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05 Jul 2012 02:02

It was all I could do to submit this comment I don’t know where the inspiration came from…
User avatar krebs303
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05 Jul 2012 02:04

it depends on what your definition of 'is' is.
craig walsh always with us
User avatar mewmewmew13
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05 Jul 2012 03:06

Also, depends on who you are, who you want to be, how stuck up, how urban or commercial you want to be, then if you are just being silly for a good laugh, or are using a krappy cell phone word predictor, or have fat fingers.
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User avatar ElChingon
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06 Jul 2012 00:39

The seeming contradiction is that a team can be seen to be either one entity or a collection of individuals.

For example, if someone were looking at a profit/loss statement and said "What's this company?", the response would be "It is a football club". If they saw a group of 18 guys standing around an airport in matching tracksuits and said "Who are those men?", the correct response would be "They are a football club".

The distinction is quite instinctive, sort of based on context.

In the case of Sky, we could look at a potential line of commentary to illustrate the point. "There are several teams looking to control the race as we enter the last 10km, but Team Sky is the one riding on the front" is perfectly correct, as is "Team Sky are riding on the front". In the first example, because of the line 'several teams', those teams are established as entities, so we consider the team a singular. In the second, there is nothing established, and I think in that case, you normally treat it as a collection of individuals.
User avatar Caruut
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