Here we have Collective Noun and the Verb. It is a continuance of the previous lesson Agreement Of The Verb With The Subject or Verb Agreement, and in that lesson we have ended up in Rule 9. So, we shall start here with Rule 10.

Collective Noun

Rule 10 –

With Collective Nouns verbs can be used either in the Singular or the Plural Number according to sense. If a Collective Noun represents a whole group or a body (institution), it takes a Singular Verb. But if the Collective Noun represents a part or parts or division of a body, it takes a Plural Verb.

Some of the important Collective Nouns are – Government, Parliament, Assembly, Council, Committee, Army, Crew, Staff, Jury, Fleet, Crowd, Majority, Mob. As –
  1. The committee has agreed on this issue. (The Verb is Singular because there is no division in the committee).
  2. The committee are divided on this issue. (Here the Verb is Plural because the committee is divided).
  3. The crew is well trained. (Here the Verb is Singular because the “crew” represents one undivided group).
  4. The crew were taken prisoners. (Here the Verb is Plural because the members of the crew habe to be taken prisoners separately).
In the same way –
  1. The Parliament has elected its Speaker.
  2. The military were deployed over the troubled area.
  3. The fleet has touched the shore.
  4. The Government have decided to introduce the Bill.
  5. The assembly is in session.
  6. The mob has dispersed.
  7. The mob have started throwing stones.
  8. The jury has come to a unanimous verdict.
  9. The jury are divided in opinion.
  10. The army is in the battlefield.

Some Typical Nouns and the Verb

Rule 11 –

Some nouns appears to be Plural in form, but actually Singular in meaning. These nouns take the verb in the Singular Number.

The important Nouns of this type are – News, Wages, Physics, Politics, Mathematics, Economics, Innings (both Singular and Plural), Gallows. As –
  1. Politics is not an easy game.
  2. Mathematics is a difficult subject.
  3. The wages of sin is death.
  4. The news is correct.
  5. Their first innings was disappointed.

Rule 12 –

Some Nouns appear to be Singular in form, but they are actually Plural in meaning and sense. These Nouns take a Plural Verb. The more important of them are – dozen, score, million, hundred, thousand, people, cattle, etc. As –
  1. A dozen were injured.
  2. A million were affected by the drought.
  3. A score were saved.
  4. The cattle are grazing.
  5. The people are satisfied.

Rule 13 –

If a Subject has such words or phrases as with, together with, along with, in addition to, as well as connected with it, these connected words or phrases do not affect the Verb in anyway (because they are parenthetical words or phrases) and the Verb is used according to the real Subject. As –
  1. The commander, with all his soldiers, was killed.
  2. The Chief Cashier, together with all his men, has been dismissed.
  3. He, as well as his friends, has failed.
  4. John, like Mark and Mathew, is fond of pictures.
Note — 
Such other words and phrases are – like, and not, in addition to, no less than, rather than, more than, unlike, besides, including, excluding, etc.