singular and plural: singular words with plural verbs

  • We often use plural verbs with words like family, team, government, which refer to groups of people.
      My family have decided to move to Nottingham.
      We also use plural pronouns, and we use who, not which.
      My family are wonderful. They do all they can for me.
      How are the team? They are very confident.’ ‘Not surprising. They’re the only team who have ever won all their matches right through the season.’
  • We prefer singular verbs and pronouns (and which) if we see the group as an ‘impersonal’ unit. (For example, in statistics.)
      The average family (which has four members) . . .
  • A number of and a group of are used with plural nouns, pronouns and verbs.
      A number of my friends fpel that they are not property paid for the work they do.(NOT A number of my friends feels…)