LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||31/OUT/2003 7:12 AM|
I agree that whether you use singular or plural verb with a collective noun depends on the context and whether the entity is perceived/referred to as one entity or a group of individuals – no doubt editors and govt depts. would have standard practices regarding which form to use (and that these differ)
Interesting point with the verb be
It certainly wins the ‘verb-with-most-forms’ prize in English.
As with in many languages other than English, this verb is a special case – in a class of its own – with its own unique forms and uses
The other verbs, auxiliaries aside, are used to refer to actions or states – the lexical verbs and have far fewer forms
Interesting to note the lack of a future form of be – with auxiliaries, context, and adverbs to the rescue
and the “past form” use in phrases such as “If I were you” or “extra-polite” expressions etc with a present/future meaning.
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