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The team is or the team are?

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The team is playing well vs team are playing well, which one is correct? Can I use both?

Posted : 21/06/2013 6:51 pm
Posts: 512
Prominent Member Admin

According to this BBC Learning website you can use the singular or plural verb form with some collective nouns such as 'team'.

They suggest that when you talk about a team as an impersonal group then the singular form is often used (the team is...); while if you see the team as a group of individual players then the plural form is used (Spurs are playing well...).

Here are some examples from today's Guardian football page:

a. 'It's reasonably easy to understand why a team gets caught on a break...'

b. 'PSG have known for weeks about Ancelotti's desire to join Madrid and they have been engaged in a ...'

c. 'Real have not hidden their desire to sign Bale...'

Posted : 22/06/2013 12:47 pm
Posts: 0
New Member

But do fans see their team as an impersonal group?

Posted : 01/07/2013 9:53 pm
Posts: 1
New Member Registered

THis has been discussed a few times on a board where i used to post a lot with posters from all over the world and the consensus was in BE more often thna not teams, enterprises etc are viewed as a group of people and thus the plural form would be used "Spurs are eyeing to sign a new player", while in AE as far as I know the singular form is a must, even. I ve even seen grammar trivias where the use of plural was corrected for being false but thats AE only, imho.

Posted : 02/07/2013 12:15 am
Posts: 62
Trusted Member Admin

I have also heard about the difference in the use of singular/plural with team between British English and American English, and I would broadly agree that 'Liverpool are...' is more common than 'Liverpool is...' amongst BE speakers.

Posted : 03/07/2013 7:09 am
Posts: 512
Prominent Member Admin

I would agree with Tdol that fans do not see their team as an impersonal group. For instance, I would often use 'we' or 'us' to talk about my favourite team, i.e very much a personal matter. Therefore, Tottenham are playing well/badly.

Thanks Niklaus for the comment on AE and BE use, which would suggest the following:
Brazil wins the Confederation Cup (AE)
Brazil win the Confederations Cup (BE)

Posted : 03/07/2013 3:23 pm
Posts: 0
New Member

The team of  footballers vs the team of students vs the team of soldiers which one is correct


Posted : 27/05/2024 12:15 pm
Posts: 512
Prominent Member Admin

It is the competition that Real Madrid like to think they own and the reasons (Guardian June 1 2024)

In this sentence from the match report in The Guardian newspaper, they use both singular and plural forms:

  • Real Madrid like to think
  • they own
Posted : 02/06/2024 9:44 am
Posts: 512
Prominent Member Admin

Madrid reset at half-time and when they started to press

The same here - Madrid reset and then 'they' started to press

Posted : 02/06/2024 9:45 am

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