Thursday, July 2, 2009

Few Exceptions - Collective nouns

Nouns such as Police, Cattle, people.. are usually treated as plural..

Correct: The police have significantly reduced violent crime and are pleased with themselves from doing so.
Incorrect: The police has significantly reduced violent crime and is pleased with itself from doing so.

Excerpt from RonPurewal's post in MGMAT

Collective nouns can be subtle, because you have to tap into the MEANING of the sentence. Specifically,
* if the sentence stresses the uniformity or 'togetherness' of the group, then use the singular;
* if the sentence stresses individual actions (perhaps grouped together, but still regarded as clearly individual), then go with the plural.
* WHEN IN DOUBT, GO SINGULAR (this won't work 100% of the time, of course, but we find that most of these things - especially on the GMAT - are slanted toward the singular.)

The faculty always votes for tuition hikes at the annual meetings. (singular, because the faculty is portrayed as voting AS A BLOC or UNIT)
The faculty commute very long distances from their homes to the campus. (plural, because, although all the faculty members commute, there is still an obvious individualism to their commuting)


  1. The possible ideas and concerns would bring more of the respective thoughts and elements which must have been followed by the individual. annotated apa bibliography