https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ojgrills

Collective nouns - British versus American English

Duolingo, please change your review of sentences including collective nouns to take into account British English.

Extract from Wikipedia (sorry it's not a better source, but sure it's the same everywhere):

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.[14][15] The term the Government always takes a plural verb in British civil service convention, perhaps to emphasise the principle of cabinet collective responsibility.[16] Compare also the following lines of Elvis Costello's song "Oliver's Army": Oliver's Army is here to stay / Oliver's Army are on their way . Some of these nouns, for example staff,[17] actually combine with plural verbs most of the time.

In American English (AmE), collective nouns are almost always singular in construction: the committee was unable to agree. However, when a speaker wishes to emphasize that the individuals are acting separately, a plural pronoun may be employed with a singular or plural verb: the team takes their seats, rather than the team takes its seats. However, such a sentence would most likely be recast as the team members take their seats.[18] Despite exceptions such as usage in The New York Times, the names of sports teams are usually treated as plurals even if the form of the name is singular.[19]

Thank you

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_American_and_British_English

February 11, 2015

2 Comments

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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luscinda

I have reported this repeatedly and they never fix it.

February 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ifphigenia

and probably never will ....I have just resigned myself to trying to remember what they want and getting frustrated when I forget ... but it is free and from an American company, I keep telling myself that I should just be grateful but sometimes, it is hard not to get a trifle miffed.

February 11, 2015
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