Show Summary Details
Page of

Collective Nouns 

Collective Nouns

Brenda Gregoline

Page of

PRINTED FROM AMA MANUAL OF STYLE ONLINE ( © American Medical Association, 2009. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the license agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in AMA Manual of Style Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

Subscriber: null; date: 21 June 2018

Collective Nouns

Collective nouns may take either singular or plural verbs, depending on whether the word refers to the group as a unit or to its members as individuals. In American English, most nouns naming a group regarded as a unit are treated as singular. (See also 7.8.5, Grammar, Subject-Verb Agreement, Collective Nouns.)

Fifty percent of my time is spent on administration.

Fifty percent of all physicians do not exercise regularly.

The audience was enthralled.

This gathering is becoming noisy.

At noon today the jury delivers its verdict.

For a unit of measure, use a singular verb.

Five milliliters was injected.

Two weeks of symptoms is common.

Previous | Next