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.

Whilst watching the football last night I ended up starting a small debate and now I would like to know which sentence is correct, would it be: Chelsea are losing 2-0 or Chelsea is losing 2-0 Many Thanks

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by Edwin Ashworth, RegDwigнt May 1 at 9:54

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
Both answers are equally correct, but one might be preferred depending on which variety of English we are talking about. Just look at the arguing going on below. You have the answer "only the plural is correct", and have the answer "only the singular is correct", and neither realizes there's more than one way to skin a cat. Since you haven't specified if you're talking about AmE or BrE, there is no way to recommend anything other than "just use whatever feels natural to you". (And let others use whatever feels natural to them.) –  RegDwigнt May 1 at 10:03

4 Answers 4

It should be "Chelsea are..."

Though I knew this, but for the sake of referring i did some searching and found this perfect guide:

The names of sports teams, on the other hand, are treated as plurals, regardless of the form of that name. We would write that "The Yankees have signed a new third baseman" and "The Yankees are a great organization" (even if we're Red Sox fans) and that "For two years in a row, the Utah Jazz have attempted to draft a big man." When we refer to a team by the city in which it resides, however, we use the singular, as in "Dallas has attempted to secure the services of two assistant coaches that Green Bay hopes to keep." (This is decidedly not a British practice. In the UK, the city or country names by which British newspapers refer to soccer teams, for example, are used as plurals — a practice that seems odd and inconsistent to American ears: "A minute's silence will precede the game at Le Stadium today, when Toulouse play Munster, and tomorrow at Lansdowne Road, when Leinster attempt to reach their first European final by beating Perpignan" [report in the online London Times].)

from: http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/plurals.htm

share|improve this answer
    
Your parenthesised statement 'we use the singular, as in "Dallas has attempted to secure the services of two assistant coaches that Green Bay hopes to keep." (This is decidedly not a British practice. In the UK, the city or country names by which British newspapers refer to soccer teams, for example, are used as plurals...' is inaccurate. In the UK, .logical concord' is generally used: 'Manchester United was formed in 1878 as Newton Heath'; 'Manchester United were beaten 3 - 0'. –  Edwin Ashworth May 1 at 9:45

You can say what you like. As Chelsea is a singular you can use a singular verb form, when you prefer to think (the players of) Chelsea you can use it as a plural. I prefer to use a singular verb form as I think it is self-evident that a football team consists of eleven players. No need to express this by choosing a verb form in plural.

share|improve this answer
    
It can be helpful when it's not obvious that you're actually referring to a football team: Chelsea needs better sporting facilities / Chelsea need better sporting facilities. –  Edwin Ashworth May 1 at 9:57

My instiincts say: Chelsea is losing 2-0

However, if Chelsea refers to a team or group of people, as opposed to a person, 'are' is acceptable. Just like both 'are' and 'is' are acceptable to refer to a band, eg: the band is playing, the band are playing

share|improve this answer

Chelsea (singular noun) is losing 2-0.

Singular noun uses is. If you were using a pluralized noun (team name), then it'd be are.

The Springboks (pluralized noun) are losing 14-0.

share|improve this answer
1  
This would sound ludicrous to British ears. And the probability is that the announcement came from the British media. Apparently, 'logical concord' is used (albeit somewhat less logically) in the US; user73747 quotes: 'Utah Jazz have attempted'. –  Edwin Ashworth May 1 at 9:50
    
@EdwinAshworth True. I suppose whatever sounds right. There is also the glasses argument wherein in some American sitcoms I've heard the protagonist say: "Where's (where is) my glasses" instead of "Where're (where are) my glasses". As a TCK, both sound right to me. –  Tucker May 1 at 13:06

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