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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 6th, 2008, 02:11 pm
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Clive Hawkins
 
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Default The couple has arrived

My wife just asked me which is correct,

'The couple has arrived' or
'The couple have arrived'.

Now, do you consider a couple as two people, so use a plural verb or do you consider the couple as a single noun and so use the third person?

This goes for sports teams too. I usually say 'Juventus are rubbish', ie using the plural verb. But technically Juventus is a single team.

What do you guys use \ teach?
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Unread Apr 6th, 2008, 06:16 pm
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Default Re: The couple has arrived

This often drives me nuts, too. American English and British English view group nouns differently.

In most cases, American English considers group nouns (government, staff, team ,etc) as singular. For example: The team is doing well this year.

British English often uses both. I think BrE uses singular for groups of people doing personal things, such as deciding, hoping, thinking, or wanting. I also think BrE uses singular verbs if the determiner is singular (a/an, every,the, etc).
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Unread Apr 6th, 2008, 08:44 pm
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Default Re: The couple has arrived

Hue's take was also mine but I didn't want to say anything because I didn't know for sure. BrE and AmE differs in how certain groups are viewed.

BrE: The government are appointed by the people.
AmE: The government is appointed by the people.
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Unread Apr 7th, 2008, 08:01 am
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Default Re: The couple has arrived

Most team names are plural in form and always expressed with a plural pronoun.

The Yankees are doing worse this year.
They have lost three straight at home.

I tend to use other group words as singular if they are singular in structure, but still use plural pronouns.

The Back Street Boys have yet another album coming out.
Aerosmith is currently on tour.

I think it depends on whether you refer in your sentence to the group as a whole or as made up of individuals.

New Kids on the Block is reuniting after X years.
The New Kids on the Block are much older than I'd have guessed. A few are in their 40s.

The couple next door is coming by for tea later. (single entity)
The couple next door are two of the best singers I've ever met. (made up of individuals)
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Unread Apr 14th, 2008, 06:22 pm
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Default Re: The couple has arrived

Quote:
Quote clivehawkins View Post
My wife just asked me which is correct,

'The couple has arrived' or
'The couple have arrived'.

Now, do you consider a couple as two people, so use a plural verb or do you consider the couple as a single noun and so use the third person?

This goes for sports teams too. I usually say 'Juventus are rubbish', ie using the plural verb. But technically Juventus is a single team.

What do you guys use \ teach?
clive, are you native speaker? if you are and not sure which one is correct, i think she can use both. question no.2, are you american? because you didn;t say that she has just asked you...is it correct in american english to use past simple with just for something that has just happened?
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Unread Apr 14th, 2008, 06:58 pm
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Default Re: The couple has arrived

Quote:
Quote Beatrix View Post
...is it correct in american english to use past simple with just for something that has just happened?
Yes, it seems very normal to me.

I just read your letter.
I just got back from the store.

(I'm American.)
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Unread Apr 14th, 2008, 07:03 pm
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Default Re: The couple has arrived

ok, thank you.
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Unread Apr 24th, 2008, 02:23 am
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Clive Hawkins
 
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Default Re: The couple has arrived

Quote:
Quote Beatrix View Post
clive, are you native speaker? if you are and not sure which one is correct, i think she can use both. question no.2, are you american? because you didn;t say that she has just asked you...is it correct in american english to use past simple with just for something that has just happened?
Hi Beatrix,

Yes, I'm a native speaker and British. It sounds fine to me, although maybe i just watch too many American films

Thanks for the input on the question. As the others have stated, I guess it can depend on what you want to emphasise.

Incidentally, how about you? Where are you from? What do you do?
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