Would it be correct to say "to disсuss among his team"? Can we use "among" with collective noun (team, group, committee, etc) if they are in singular form? Or "among" always must be followed by plural noun and it's better to say "to discuss among his team members"?

  • Have you tried to find an answer? Can we know where you looked and what you found?
    – Kris
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 12:31
  • I was searching on Yandex and have found this discussion forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=662589&langid=18 where author says that with collective nouns it's better to use "within" (within the team) but it's also possible to use "among" (among the team)
    – Katherina
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 12:56

2 Answers 2


Yes, you are right: among is mostly followed by plural nouns. So, you can say to discuss among his teams or to discuss among his team members, but it would have different meanings, I think you prefer the second meaning in your case.

In the majority cases we deal with the formal or grammatical plural. However, the team already contains the plural meaning itself (notional plural) as the word party here:

The millionaire is also believed to be among the royal party on board the yacht,... (the BNC)

So, both your cases are acceptable.

  • 1
    You're not considering the difference between formal and notional plurality. 'Team' is often used as a shorthand for 'members of the team' etc. Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 11:27
  • 1
    yes, i will correct. Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 11:29
  • 1
    Wow, I'll use that example! Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 11:33
  • It is from the British National Corpus. Go ahead! :-D Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 11:36
  • This answer is inconsistent. It starts by saying "among is always followed by plural", and ends by endorsing both plural and singular. Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 12:15

This example from the internet shows both usages:

A key ingredient to successful team-based decision-making is the sharing of information among members....

Information shared among members of a team can be classified on two dimensions: uniqueness and openness....

The more unique the information and knowledge possessed by each team member, the greater amount of information shared among the team, resulting in greater team decision-making performance.

In the UK at least, 'logical' or 'notional' concord is often used, collective nouns being given plural or singular verb agreement as is deemed more appropriate:

The team was founded in 1883.

England is wet at this time of the year.

The team were arguing amongst themselves.

England are winning 2 - 1.

This practice is not unknown in the States:

"the [New England] Revolution are reestablishing their reputation for resourcefulness and spirited play."

"the Heat were in it in the first half." [both Boston Globe]

The reduced forms 'among the team' (among the members of the team'), 'among the jury' etc are likewise commonly found on the internet.

These Google Ngrams show that not all 'among the team' strings are parts of longer 'among the team members' strings; this Google result shows examples of both usages.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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