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Which is correct: "Our team of engineers is standing by" or "Our team of engineers are standing by"?

marked as duplicate by tchrist, DJClayworth, choster, Chenmunka, Mari-Lou A Sep 23 '15 at 9:29

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    I think there is already a question about words like team being plural or singular. It depends from the language you are using: American English and British English consider them differently. – kiamlaluno Sep 22 '15 at 16:49
  • @kiamlaluno: I don't think it has anything to do with AmE or BrE. (Unlike company names, Parliament/Congress, etc.) See this Ngram. – Peter Shor Sep 22 '15 at 18:08
  • @PeterShor I was trying to give a summary of what I recall said in that other question. – kiamlaluno Sep 22 '15 at 18:42
  • @kiamlaluno: I think team of ... is one of a class of expressions which can be plural both in British English and American English. – Peter Shor Sep 22 '15 at 19:25

The answer depends on whether your regional English considers "team" a plural noun or a singular noun.

The subject of the sentence is "team", and "of engineers" is just a descriptive addition. So the verb should be the one appropriate for the subject "team": is if you consider it singular, and are if you consider it plural.

In American English, it is (generally) correct to say "Our team of engineers is standing by," since "team" is usually singular.

In British or other types of English, it might be are, if "team" is used as a plural.


Is, since the word team is singular.

  • The team are not ready yet. – tchrist Sep 22 '15 at 16:56

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