When referring to a committee that has been working hard, which of the following would you say?

  1. The committee which has been working hard.

  2. The committee who have been working hard.

The committee is made up of people I know, it is not a group of unknown people so I feel strange referring to them as which, but my husband insists that is the correct usage.

  • You could run into UK/US stuff here. In the US "committee" (like "team") is treated as singular, but those UK guys are kinda weird with regard to this stuff.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 1, 2017 at 23:30
  • Links to related questions about the choice between "who" and "which": What is the correct relative pronoun for “government”?, 'Who' or 'which' in reference to companies and about collective nouns: Are collective nouns always plural, or are certain ones singular?
    – herisson
    Jun 1, 2017 at 23:54
  • You could run into US/UK stuff here. In the UK "committee" (like "team") is usually treated as either singular or plural (ie afforded the relevant verb-form) depending on whether the whole or the individuals are being signified, but some US guys are less flexible with regard to this stuff. Both 1 and 2 above are perfectly acceptable grammatically in 'BrE' (actually to anyone accepting 'notional agreement', which many Americans do up to a point, sometimes without realising it), but 2 gives the more personal touch (and is more logical, as it is the people on the committee doing the work). Jun 2, 2017 at 3:10

1 Answer 1


Since you are addressing the "hard work", which is the product of individuals, it may be preferable to say who have.

When discussing the committee as an entity - say, the consensus, or location of - which has may be preferable.

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