Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have been told 'everybody' is singular. However, there was a film named "Everybody Sing".

What are the differences between "everybody sing" and "everybody sings"?

Which is correct? the former, the latter, or the both?

Which is more natural?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

They mean different things.

"Everybody sing." by itself would be a command telling everyone to sing.

"Everybody sings." is a statement that everyone sings.

share|improve this answer
    
Compare: 'John - sing!' with 'John sings' (and remember that titles take liberties with grammar, so the dash, colon or comma could be omitted - though I bet they left the exclamation mark in). I wouldn't say that 'everybody is singular' - we'd say 'all (the people) are here' - but it does take singular agreement (ie a singular verb-form). –  Edwin Ashworth Feb 3 '13 at 22:52

I don't know the film in question but here is how I would differentiate between them.

You would use sings in standard sentences of subject + verb:

Everybody sings in the bath.

Everybody sings when they are happy.

Everybody sing is a command or instruction eg if you are leading a choir.

Everybody is to get everyone's attention, the command is Sing

"Ok everybody, stop talking. John, do the first verse solo, then everybody sing!"

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.