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Which one should it be -- need or needs

The following is a list of staff, from your district, who need authorization.

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2 Answers 2

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Staff is one of several words in English (like group, company, team) that is singular but refers to several people. As such, its treatment can be tricky. The general rule is that when emphasising unity, use it as singular; when emphasising plurality, as plural. Thus, we might say

The staff is preparing a surprise party.

The group is looking forward to the next album.

In your case, since the list refers to each staff member individually, the more correct form is the plural.

The following is a list of staff from your district who need authorization.

Source

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"a list" is singular here. so the verb "need" has to be singular. But the list of people need it. It should be The following is a list of staff, from your district, who need authorization.

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    No. The list isn't needing anything: the people are.
    – tchrist
    Apr 24, 2017 at 13:29

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