• Words denoting groups

    In collective nouns applying to groups of people, you can use either singular or plural verbs. If you wish to imply unanimity or unity, use a singular verb; if you want to talk about varied opinions or only one part of the group, use the plural.

    Small_OK The University’s Governing Council is considering the matter.
    Small_OK The Committee were divided over tuition fees.
  • Geographical areas and organisations

    Countries, regions and organisations take a singular verb even when they have a plural name, unless there is some reason to stress the individual parts.

    Small_OK The Balearic Islands is a self-governing region of Spain.
    Small_OK The United Nations is charged with the maintenance of international peace.
    Small_OK The Canary Islands are made up of thirteen islands, all of which are volcanic in origin.

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