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The Government are/ the Government is?

(15 Posts)
nonmifairidere Tue 17-Sep-13 19:09:01

The former always grates. Government is collective noun, so the latter is correct, surely.

ohmymimi Sat 21-Sep-13 15:07:41


kickassangel Sat 21-Sep-13 15:08:42

US uses plural, UK single.

I have read about it in grammar books

jennycoast Sat 21-Sep-13 15:11:56

Is, I thought.

turkeyboots Sat 21-Sep-13 15:12:21

Am a civil servant. We're told to use the singular.

insancerre Sat 21-Sep-13 15:14:38

I would use is

2cats2many Sat 21-Sep-13 15:17:12

The Government is

Members of the Government/Government ministers are

We did this in my English GCSE earlier in the week. I think it is "are" for plural and "is" for singular so

The children in my DDs class are going to the park - because there is more than one child

My DDs class is going to the park - because there is only 1 class

ohmymimi Sat 21-Sep-13 19:38:02

Thanks, didn't know about US usage. I was a civil servant so 'is' was standard, but I hear 'are' used frequently.

lalalonglegs Sat 21-Sep-13 19:47:02

I think we tend to use "are" when speaking because we think of a government as a group of people but it is a single unit so "is" would be correct.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 24-Sep-13 16:16:01

What do Canadians do? I always use is for singular, are for plural. However, I live in Canada so do they follow the UK or the US.

mrspremise Tue 24-Sep-13 18:04:32

The Government is doing nothing useful to solve the current financial crisis...

The Government are a bunch of total bell-ends...

It all depends on the context, really wink

SconeRhymesWithGone Wed 25-Sep-13 03:13:52

US usage is generally to use the singular with government: The government is . . .

This link also has information about British usage.

Teapot13 Fri 27-Sep-13 02:31:46

Not only do we only ever use the singular ("the family is," not "the family are") in the US, the whole mistake is a puzzling one to us. We don't say it by accident either, and we are confused when the English say the plural colloquially.

claraschu Fri 27-Sep-13 05:01:48

You never, never, ever hear the plural in the US. It is something I used to hear in the UK, but it is getting less common.

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