Is “Set” Singular or Plural?

In the US, collective nouns like set are usually singular (“One set is,” “the other set eats”). But there’s an exception. You don’t see it often, but it shows up once in a while. When there’s a disagreement within the group, you can make set plural: “That set haven’t decided….”

Here are some other collective nouns (all singular most of the time):

The jury is…

The group is…

The committee is…

The family is…

The same exception sometimes (rarely) applies: If there’s disagreement, you can make the collective noun plural:

The jury disagree.

The family have no intention of accepting the terms of the will.

The committee are refusing to pass the proposal.

The UK, incidentally does it differently: Often collective nouns are plural (“The committee are…” “My family have…”).

To learn more about US vs. UK English, click here.

The committee disagrees. The committee disagree. Both are correct!

The committee disagrees.
The committee disagree. Both are correct!

 

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