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Possible Duplicate:
Is staff plural?

  • The family is on a tour
  • The family are on a tour

Which one is correct and why?

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marked as duplicate by kiamlaluno, RegDwigнt, Robusto, Kosmonaut Feb 9 '11 at 22:57

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Possible dupe. –  Kosmonaut Feb 5 '11 at 17:53

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted
  1. The family is on a tour

  2. The family are on a tour

Both are correct, as the collective noun family can both be treated as singular or plural. However, one is less likely to hear the second sentence in the US, for collective nouns are usually treated as singular in American English, while they can be treated as both singular and plural in British English. See the note on collective noun concord at Oxford Dictionaries Online.


You may want also want to consider a related answer here.

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Thank you.That's clear enough. –  GPEnglish Feb 5 '11 at 18:33

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