One could say:

The audience is cheering.

However, it sounds strange saying:

The audience is the people who are cheering.

Should it be this instead?

The audience are the people who are cheering.

I'm unsure as to which of the former two sentences would be correct.

  • First, verbs always agree with their subjects in English, never with their objects or predicate complements. Second, collective nouns admit both singular and plural agreement in English. We have duplicates of both of those questions. – tchrist Jan 25 '17 at 12:51
  • So the first sentence would be correct? It just sounded really odd to me for some reason. Sorry, I wasn't sure how to classify this question, which led me to creating this "duplicate!" – Skeleton Bow Jan 25 '17 at 16:20
  • Both sentences sound clumsy to me, perhaps because equating a singular noun (the collective audience) and a plural noun (people) is confusing. – Barmar Jan 25 '17 at 19:23
  • So you would avoid this construction altogether. Is there any alternative way would express the idea? – Skeleton Bow Jan 26 '17 at 17:53
  • I'm not sure what the audience might be if it were not people. Does not "the audience is cheering" render the desired meaning? – J. Taylor Jan 26 '17 at 22:31

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