Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968.


Is "were" really the right word here? It feels like it should be "was".

After reading the answers and my own searching, it appears to be correct in this case

Should I use American English or British English?

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    possible duplicate of Are collective nouns always plural, or are certain ones singular?. Also Is “staff” plural?, and doubtless many, many more. – FumbleFingers Apr 9 '14 at 16:16
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    'Led Zeppelin' is essentially a collective noun, though it is also a proper noun. As it is a collective noun, it is more usual in the US and Australia always to afford it singular concord, whilst in the UK the agreement is usually chosen according to whether 'Led Zeppelin' is being considered as a single entity or as the members of the band. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 9 '14 at 16:18
  • As a compromise should we use plural for English bands and singular for American bands ? – mgb Apr 9 '14 at 17:12
  • ... And for those with a mixed makeup? The usual advice is 'When in Rome ...' but this becomes tricky half way across the Atlantic. It's probably best just not to be too quick with the red ink. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 9 '14 at 18:12

"Led Zeppelin were..." would be considered improper in US English, but in the UK, names of groups, organizations, and companies are often treated as plural:

[T]he Government have taken £4.5bn from the mineworkers' pension scheme...

In this context, "Led Zeppelin were..." would be appropriate.

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The Beatles were... You are talking about a group of musicians under the name of Led Zepelin so the plural verb fits.

But The Band of Led Zepelin was ...verbs with group names is always tricky.

The link might help: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/words/matching-verbs-to-collective-nouns-american

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