Singular and plural for groups of people
Nouns used in singular and plural
Which phrase is correct - the class was or the class were? Is the word class a singular noun or a plural noun? This question cannot be answered with Yes or No. Use the singular if you see the class as a group of students. Use the plural if you see the class as single students.
In British English the plural is used more often than in American English.
|The family is on holiday.||I see the family as a group.|
|The family are packing their suitcases.||I see the single members of the family packing their suitcases.|
|Team B was very successful today.||I see Team B as a group.|
|Team B were very successful today.||I see the single members of Team B. Each member of the team was successful. I could also say: All members of Team B were very successful.|
There are more words which can be singular or plural nouns: