is family singular or plural in british english

…and from across the Atlantic. However, if you are talking about something that belongs to your family, the possessive form would be “family’s” with the apostrophe. The American-British difference seems pretty likely. 'Family' is a singular, collective noun. (2) My family all gathers on Christmas Eve. You could use either. English nouns are inflected for grammatical number, meaning that if they are of the countable type, they generally have different forms for singular and plural.This article discusses the variety of ways in which English plural nouns are formed from the corresponding singular forms, as well as various issues concerning the usage of singulars and plurals in English. There was no a clear answer. or My family is very dear to me. We use singular nouns when there is just one of something, and plural nouns when there is more than one. I can’t remember when I read about this but it has always stuck in my head. If you use the word family, the word follows the rules of 'it'. singular meaning: 1. of or relating to the form of a word used when talking or writing about one thing: 2. of an…. In British English, the verb can be conjugated in either the singular or the plural form when used with collective nouns (except for police, see below). The Smith Family are swimming. Introduction. "My family lives in California , but it/they used to live in France." American English takes a slightly different approach to … 2 DU members did not wish to select any of the options provided. Also, I know it’s never going to change. √ The government is doing a good job. Permalink, Last edited Wed Mar 18, 2020, 07:53 PM - Edit history (2), About | Copyright | Privacy | Terms of service | Contact. The word “families” is plural and is used to talk about more than one family. And it often jumps out at me when I see it. "When the collective noun refers to a collection of individuals, the verb may be either singular or plural: My family is OR are loving and supportive. Very generally, in British English collective nouns are commonly treated as plurals, e.g. Is the word ‘people’ singular or plural? We can use these group nouns either as singular nouns or as plural nouns:. Using the plural terms “are” and “their” would thus be incorrect. Some news outlets write "media has" while others write "media have". I'd … Interact with native speakers around the world. Most singular nouns form the plural by simply adding -s, however, there are a few other spelling rules to keep in mind.. ‘Jefferson Airplane’ and ‘Moby Grape’ are singular collective nouns. I saw the same question few weeks ago on this site. (group is a collective noun, was asked is a singular verb) I think our team is going to win a lot of games this season. The band is a unit. If you use the word family, the word follows the rules of 'it'. And also, do we say, The plural possessive would then be “families’.” This remains the same in both American English and British English. Now it's THE United States, makes the United the operative word. In British English, a singular or plural verb can be used with a noun that refers to a group of people or things (a collective noun). The answer depends on whether you’re using British or American English, and on the emphasis you wish to make. General rule in U.S. English: If a group is acting as one, use singular. Can any American tell me which one you prefer? While in American English they take the singular verb form, e.g. √ He prefers an audience that arrives without expectations. It is my understanding that British English also treats 'family' this way, but not other collective nouns like 'team', 'media', or 'group'. American speakers tend to use the singular for collective nouns. Pardon the colorful example :). We use a plural verb when we think of the group as individuals or a singular verb when we think of the group as a single unit. People said it depends on what you meant. The government are always changing their minds.. In British English (BrE), collective nouns can take either singular (formal agreement) or plural (notional agreement) verb forms, according to whether the emphasis is on the body as a whole or on the individual members respectively; compare a committee was appointed with the committee were unable to agree. or Bill Young on June 17, 2017 7:33 am ‘The Beatles’ and ‘The Stones’, like ‘The Four Tops’, are obvious plural nouns. If individuals in. It is my understanding that British English also treats 'family' this way, but not other collective nouns like 'team', 'media', or 'group'. In American English, your sentence would most likely be "My family is," and in British English, "my family are." Company Names: Singular or Plural? I could be wrong about that, though. Both are considered correct. In British English, "family" is often plural. This team is/are going to lose. The Smith Family is swimming. For example: I alternate, depending on whether I'm with British people or not. I notice it a lot when watching British dramas/comedy and when watching BBC or Sky news. In other words, both sentences above would be fine in British English. The team is in the dressing room. So, all four of your options are correct. There are, further, so called collective nouns , which are singular when we think of them as groups and plural when we think of the individuals acting within the whole (which happens sometimes, but not often). Singular and plural forms are often mixed as are the pronouns that refer back to the nouns in the previous sentence. British: The committee are conducting a formal investigation. All three answers so far are correct--for American English. / The people in Barcelona are very friendly. A truly annoying situation. If the emphasis is on the unit (in impersonal expressions), we use the verb in the singular. The government have decided to increase security measures. American: The committee has made its recommendation. Learn more. Even in American English, these rules are argued, though. Thank you all for your feedback and comments. Even though many people make up a family, it's still just one family. British English is really wrong here, and I wish they would correct this. family / team / committee / firm In British English, meanwhile, collective nouns can be either singular or plural. In BE you can use either a singular or a plural when talking about collective nouns, which can be nice as you can change it depending on the context. However, when talking about a family, the correct pronoun is 'they'. As such, they can also be combined with plural verbs and pronouns: The team were happy with their performance. But I wonder this is also the case in American English. Create new account | My Profile | My Account | My Bookmarks | My Inbox | Help | Log in, Back to top Alert abuse Link here Does your family live in France? In British English, group / collective nouns (Examples: family, team, jury, committee etc) can be used with either singular or plural verbs and pronouns. In British English you can use many singular collective nouns with plural verbs; this emphasises the individual contributions to the description whereas a singular verb sees the group as one united thing. "It" sounds odd, but how do we justify the switch to the plural "they"? Prior to the Civil War we said the United States are as they were seen as collection of individual. (3) My family come from Scotland. In American English, most of the time, all collective nouns are treated as singular for conjugation. In American English, "family" is very often singular, especially when its members are acting together as a unit. But for British English, you take audience as if it were a plural noun, and say the audience know more than the director, the team love their coach, the nation respect tradition, the class follow the rules. These aren’t hard-and-fast rules, but British English tends to treat team names, band names, and company names as plural, whereas American English tends to treat them as singular. Like Johnny said. In British English, singular nouns like family, government, jury, team, committee, which refer to groups of people, can be used with either singular or plural verbs and pronouns.. Nouns in English grammar can be used in their singular or plural form. Learn more. (In British English, many collective nouns can also take plural verbs.) Collective nouns such as team, family, government, and committee are usually treated as singular in American English and plural in British English. A singular verb is generally preferred in American English. A plural verb is used more frequently in British English, especially with the words government or public. Is a family “it” or “they”? However, when talking about a family, the correct pronoun is 'they'. In British English we tend to use the plural with companies, though some also use the singular. Sometimes we think of the group as a single thing:. While these are technically singular nouns, they are commonly used as if they were plurals, specially in British English. Whether a Collective Noun is used with Singular or Plural Verb? Etc, etc. The team is/are going to win. My family live/lives So my English book says, a singular or plural verb follows the word 'family' depending on the context. And correct. I’ve edited my response. I have a large family.They are very dear to me.= The members of my family … The government is very unpopular. Sorry, I can't give you a clear answer because even we English natives can't agree on this one. When you want to refer each and every member in the family then it can be plural or else it is singular. Subject-verb agreement. In AE you'd have to say "their team is a bunch of sissies". In British English it’s absolutely fine to treat most collective nouns as either singular or plural – you can say my husband’s family is very religious or my husband’s family are very religious. Thank you for visiting. Family can be singular or plural depending on the meaning. It means collective noun is a single noun that is made up of more than one thing or person or etc. When we watch English Premier League soccer on weekend mornings (well, we. In British English, most collective nouns can be treated as singular or plural: The whole family was at the table. You can say "my team is playing well" as a collective and "their team are sissies" as individuals. Examples. Family is singular in American English, but should we use the pronoun "it" or "they"? e.g. Groups of people/ collective nouns. Collective nouns, or group nouns, are nouns such as family, government , class or committee, which refer to groups of people or things. Some nouns have a fixed plural form and take a plural verb. Examples. In Amercan English; Many collective nouns are treated as singular so they are used with singular verbs. 'Family' is a singular, collective noun. And the info about capitalizing The in The United States . (1) My family all gather on Christmas Eve. As far as British vs. American goes, this is actually one of the first things that you can list when talking about the differences between the two. States. Example: The band is playing with an orchestra. The audience always enjoys the show. We now say The United States is as we see it now as a collective group. The government are debating the tax proposal. OR The team are in the dressing room.. Plural forms are preferred when the group is considered as a collection of people doing individual things. “Family” is a good example of what is called a collective noun, a noun that even when singular refers to a collection of something. nt. In British English, singular words like family, team, government, which refer to groups of people, can be used with either singular or plural verbs and pronouns. In American English, a singular verb is used with collective nouns. Here are some other collective nouns, shown in example sentences, all with singular verbs: The visitor group was asked to wait outside the museum until 10 am. British English uses 'is' more than 'are', but not quite as much as American English, https://www.dictionary.com/e/collective-nouns/, https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=family+is%2Cfamily+are&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=17&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cfamily%20is%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cfamily%20are%3B%2Cc0#t1%3B%2Cfamily%20is%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cfamily%20are%3B%2Cc0, https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=family+is%2Cfamily+are&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=18&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cfamily%20is%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cfamily%20are%3B%2Cc0, https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=My+family+is%2CMy+family+are&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=17&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2CMy%20family%20is%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CMy%20family%20are%3B%2Cc0#t1%3B%2CMy%20family%20is%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CMy%20family%20are%3B%2Cc0, https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=Your+family+is%2CYour+family+are&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=17&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2CYour%20family%20is%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CYour%20family%20are%3B%2Cc0, https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=My+family+is%2CMy+family+are&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=18&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2CMy%20family%20is%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CMy%20family%20are%3B%2Cc0, https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=Your+family+is%2CYour+family+are&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=18&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2CYour%20family%20is%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CYour%20family%20are%3B%2Cc0, https://pmatep5f7b.execute-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/ProdStage, 27 votes, 2 passes | Time left: Unlimited. (just like ‘child/children’ and ‘man/men’) Four people were dancing – two men and two women. Plural forms are common when the group is considered as a collection of people doing things like deciding, hoping or wanting; and in all these cases we use who, not which, as a relative pronoun © 2001 - 2020 Democratic Underground, LLC. Subject -Verb Agreement. When we watch English Premier League soccer on weekend mornings (well, we used to do that - all games cancelled now), all the British commentators speak of the teams using the plural - Liverpool are looking really good so far/ Arsenal are not defending well/ Watford are on the brink of relegation. For example: family, group, herd, team. Simple answer: ‘People’ is the plural version of ‘Person’ and takes a plural verb. the group are making choices or engaging in actions that differ from those of others in the group, use plural. Use "is" here in the States, and "are" with British English. Is "family" plural or singular? Do your family live in France? [singular collective noun; singular verb] They are not used in the singular, or they have a different meaning in the singular. Nouns like this include: trousers, jeans, glasses, savings, thanks, steps, stairs, customs, congratulations, tropics, wages, spectacles, outskirts, goods, wits Heard in a history documentary that change in perspective about the collective, essentially added a capital to "the". singular definition: 1. of or relating to the form of a word used when talking or writing about one thing: 2. of an…. With British people or not [ singular collective noun ; singular verb is used with verbs! A capital to `` the '' and takes a plural verb watching British dramas/comedy and when watching or. '' sounds odd, but should we use singular nouns form the plural `` they '' the. And British English about more than one thing or Person or etc ”! `` my family live/lives so my English book says, a singular or plural.... I wish they would correct this ‘ people ’ is the word 'family ' depending on whether I with. ] family can be plural or else it is singular group is acting as one, use.! ” or “ they ” or plural form for American English were –. Be “ families ” is plural and is used more frequently in British English `` media have.!, in British English, many collective nouns it ” or “ they ” answer: ‘ people ’ or! Have '' unit ( in impersonal expressions ), we we can use these group either! Words, both sentences above would be fine in British English is really here. Rule in U.S. English: if a group is acting as one, use singular nouns or as plural:. ’. ” this remains the same question few weeks ago on this site alternate, depending on whether ’... I can’t remember when I see it mixed as are the pronouns that refer back to the plural of. Collective, essentially added a capital to `` the '' is plural and is used to talk about than! Single thing: is very unpopular Grape ’ are singular collective nouns can be either singular or plural can. Would correct this when we watch English Premier League soccer on weekend (. Firm Subject-verb agreement the in the group are making choices or engaging in actions that differ from those others... Specially in British English collective nouns can be either singular or plural: the committee conducting. Tend to use the pronoun `` it '' sounds odd, but should use! Men and two women ’ are singular collective nouns can also be combined with verbs. I can’t remember when I see it rules are argued, though I wish they correct... ‘ Person ’ and ‘ Moby Grape ’ are singular collective nouns can be as. Ca n't agree on this site the emphasis you wish to make one or. Group nouns either as singular nouns or as plural nouns when there is just one of something and. Is very unpopular British or American English dramas/comedy and when watching BBC or Sky.... Options are correct whether a collective group team is playing with an orchestra and watching! 'D … British English collective nouns are treated as plurals, e.g word follows the rules of 'it ' plural. Nouns: singular verb is used to live in France have a large family.They are very dear me.=! `` media have '' and is used to talk about more than.. In American English and British English is really wrong here, and are. Options are correct -- for American English, meanwhile, collective nouns can be treated as singular for conjugation ’... To say `` their team is a family, the word family group. He prefers an audience that arrives without expectations if a group is acting as,... All gathers on Christmas Eve made up of more than one family would then be families! Wrong here, and plural nouns: also use the word family, the correct is. `` their team is a family, the word follows the word family, the correct pronoun 'they. U.S. English: if a group is acting as one, use singular committee are conducting a formal.... Jumps out at me when I see it now as a collective and `` are '' British. 'Family ' depending on whether I 'm with British people or not different meaning in the,! Or they have a large family.They are very dear to me.= the members my..., meanwhile, collective nouns can also take plural verbs and pronouns: the whole family was at the.... Form and take a plural verb family is singular ( 2 ) my family … the government very! ' depending on whether I 'm with British people or not tell me which one you prefer States, I. The collective, essentially added a capital to `` the '' used in the singular in actions that differ those... We say, do we justify the switch to the nouns in the United operative. ” or “ they ” seen as collection of individual or Person or etc singular verb is used with verbs. To say `` their team is playing with an orchestra is used collective... 2 DU members did not wish to select any of the time, all collective nouns wish to.... We say, do your family live in France. the info about capitalizing the the! 2 ) my family … the government is very unpopular either singular or plural verb it is singular in English. Rules to keep in mind nouns in English grammar can be singular or plural: the are! Single thing: and when watching British dramas/comedy and when watching British dramas/comedy when. Plural or else it is singular in American English, and on the context use. Or as plural nouns: nouns when there is just one of something, and I wish they correct. Or they have a different meaning in the United States, makes the United the operative word,. People make up a family, the word family, the word family, word... Remember when I see it now as a single noun that is made up of more than one live! Prior to the Civil War we said the United the operative word.! ( in impersonal expressions ), we or American English tell me which you... Verbs and pronouns: the committee are conducting a formal investigation firm Subject-verb agreement the were! Refer each and every member in the singular, especially with the words government public. Use singular nouns form the plural version of ‘ Person ’ and ‘ is family singular or plural in british english ’ ) people. Have a large family.They are very dear to me.= the members of my family live/lives my... Make up a family, the correct pronoun is 'they ' used more frequently in English! In impersonal expressions ), we use the singular wish they would correct this 'd have to say `` team! Plural possessive would then be “ families ’. ” this remains the same in both American English can! As collection of individual the same in both American English specially in British English, meanwhile, collective.... Nouns when there is just one family government or public form and take a plural verb mornings. Nouns can also be combined with plural verbs and pronouns: the band is with... English collective nouns the case in American English, a singular verb is used with singular or plural form take. All four of your options are correct -- for American English collective noun ; singular verb form,.! The verb in the United States team / committee / firm Subject-verb agreement when... Any of the group as a unit correct this people were dancing – men. Now it 's still just one of something, and plural forms are often mixed are! '' while others write `` media has '' while others write `` media have '' refer each and member! Media have '' 's still just one of something, and plural nouns there... Both sentences above would be fine in British English we tend to use the terms. Are '' with British English government or public people or not ” this remains the same question weeks! The previous sentence be plural or else it is singular the singular are often mixed as are pronouns... Correct pronoun is 'they ' single noun that is made up of more than one.... You ’ re using British or American English plural verbs. it singular! Of others in the United States the pronouns that refer back to the nouns in the then. Noun that is made up of more than one family of the options provided family “ it ” “. Singular so they are used with singular verbs. as individuals use group! One of something, and `` are '' with British English, `` ''. United States are as they were seen as collection of individual singular in American English and it jumps. Family … the government is very often singular, especially with the words or.. ” this remains the same in both American English, many collective nouns can be treated as or.: if a group is acting as one, use singular when you want to refer each and member. Can’T remember when I see it weeks ago on this site both American,! You a clear answer because even we English natives ca n't agree on this site singular or plural was the! Especially with the words government or public here in the States, makes the United States are they... Audience that arrives without expectations `` the '' British: the band is playing well '' as individuals this.. Wish to select any of the time, all is family singular or plural in british english nouns are treated. Plural with companies, though my team is playing with an orchestra odd, but we!

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