'Olympic Games' -- 'is' or 'are'?

I've heard 'the Olympic Games is/ has/ was,' as well as 'the Olympic Games are/ have/ were.'

And, 'the Games is/has/was,' and 'the Games are/ have/were.'

To complicate the matter, announcers have said 'Every Games....'

'Olympic Games' -- singular or plural?

Thank you.

Original Post
The topic of the Olympic Games is very current. The Grammar Exchange responded to this very question – whether or not "Olympic Games" as subject takes a singular or plural verb – on June 30, 2004 (see that posting).

The phrase "the Olympic Games" usually takes a plural verb, as in these examples from current news articles:

"¢ The Olympic Games include nearly all the countries in the world, and competitors from all take part in many of the events. They all abide by the same rules. ...

"¢ ... The Olympic Games have been impressive thus far. ... Just to make it to the Olympic Games is an incredible accomplishment on its own. ...

"¢ The Olympic Games are here and the whole world is watching. Participants from all over the world take part in each event and give it their best. ...

However, as noted in our previous response, the singular verb can occur when the "games" refers to a particular, singular event, as in this example:

"¢ The first recorded Olympics was held in Greece in 776 BCE, though according to legend, the ancient Olympic Games was founded by a son of Zeus named Heracles. ...

The Grammar Exchange, too, noted that an announcer from Athens said "every games," which indicates that he was thinking, at that moment, of the 2004 games as an event more than as a series of individual games. In this case, "every" is correct and the verb would be singular.


Add Reply

Likes (0)