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This question was originally sent in by Hogel as a follow-up to "The Beatles was/were."

Hello, teachers!
Please help me again with this.

What about sports teams, social clubs, etc? Is the same rule working?

1. Chances are the Tigers [are] going to lose the game.
2. The Good Boys [are] going to have a presidential election tomorrow.
3. Good Friends [are] going to participate in the event.

Thank you very much.
Best Regards.
Original Post
Yes. If the name of the team is a plural noun, a plural verb is used, as in your sentences.

Some North American teams that immediately come to mind are the Giants, the Falcons, the Patriots, the Marlins, the Dolphins, the Lakers, the Yankees, the Mets.

A few teams have names that are noncount nouns; these teams sometimes take a singular verb. Example:

"¢ In a trade as big in scope as the featured attraction, the Miami Heat is poised to acquire 7-foot-1, 360-pound ...

"¢ Lightning wins the Cup!

However, other teams with names of noncount nouns take a plural verb:

"¢ The Orlando Magic have signed forward-center Dwight Howard, the High School Player of the Year,

"¢ The National Basketball Association's Utah Jazz have reportedly made free-agent forward Carlos Boozer an offer he could not refuse. ...

If the name of the team is a city, state, or region, it usually takes a plural verb in British English, but a singular verb in American English, as shown in the Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English.(Biber et al. Longman. 199):

"Reg, see where [Tottenham] are in the league?(CONV)

[England] have been here almost a week, practicing every day in sauna-bath temperatures for their opening match against Sri Lanka on Sunday. (NEWS)

This pattern is regularly found in BrE news but does not occur in AmE (unless the name of the sports team is in the plural, e.g. The New York Giants)."

In American English, examples would be:

Chicago is going to win the World Series this year!

Arizona has signed on a new coach.

Brazil has won all the preliminary matches for the World Cup.

Social and other kinds of clubs follow the same pattern:

Diversity is a club which consists of members from many cultures.

The Opera Guild is putting on a charity dinner-dance next Saturday.

Kiwanis meets for lunch every Wednesday at the Lion's Head Restaurant.

Young Republicans have a meeting tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m.

Last edited by Rachel, Moderator
This headline appears in the New York Times this morning:

Seattle Storm Douse Indiana Fever 76 - 70

(The Seattle Storm and the Indiana Fever are teams.)

Note the third person plural verb (douse), used to agree with the word "storm." "Storm," of course, is a singular noun, and would normally take a third-person singular verb (douses).

However, as noted, sometimes when a singular noun refers to a team, it takes a plural verb, like "douse" here. All the teams' names are non-count nouns (the ones that are not plural count) in the posting above, but the team's name could be a singular count noun, too, as "storm" is here.

English is not completely consistent!

Last edited by Rachel, Moderator

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