Thank you for your kind words. Yes, we agree that we often see and hear false agreements on subjects and verbs. In the case of your first sentence, “My number one fear is heart attack,” the sentence is not false, but it is said heavily. The theme of the phrase is “fear,” which is unique. The singular verb “is” is consistent with the subject. The object, “heart attacks,” is plural, which makes the phrase strange. Is the person afraid of a heart attack or several heart attacks? We don`t know. Some collective nouns may accept either a singular or a plural verb, depending on their use in the sentence. Collective nouns can be difficult because it is up to the sentencer to determine whether the name acts as an entity or whether the sentence indicates greater individuality. In your first example, “India has a team of players who are engaged”, the team of players who act with individuality within the unit. In your sentence “A group of doctors goes to Haiti “, the word group is a collective nobiss that acts as a unit. Therefore, it is treated as a singular noun and uses the singular verb is. It`s a different situation from the phrase: “A man does and does all the work.” One could also enter the list of pronouns of Rule 8, “The pronouns of each, each, each, each, one, someone, someone, someone and someone are singularly and require singular verbs.
Don`t be misled about the following. Since this sentence does not contain who, this or which, follow Article 8: One of the men does all the work. For contractual purposes, collective nouns can be singular or plural, depending on how they are used in a sentence. The collective nouns, which are used as a unit, take a singular verb; Collective nouns that indicate that many units adopt a plural state. The nouns call people, places and things. Collective names, a special class, groups of names (things are) made up of members (usually people). The whole family was at the table. [Singular collective noun; singular verb] A pluralistic collective noun takes on a plural verb: families enjoy this restaurant. You have found some delicate phrases, and we must be careful to choose the right rules to apply. The example of our site is taken from Rule 14 of the subject and verb agreement and deals with pronouns, those, those, or these, and how the verb must coincide with the noun before these pronouns.
Purdue`s example does not include pronouns, those or those. Here is our article 2 of the search for subjects and verbs, which says: “A subject will stand before a sentence beginning with.” This theme is “group” and corresponds to the singular verb “contains.” Their sentences do not address our theme of collective nouns. Please follow our rules for pronouns, subject verb agreement and prepositions to help you with these sentences. The collective nomadic committee seems to act as a unit in your first sentence and as individuals in the second sentence. The Committee debates these issues carefully. The commission leads very different lives in the private sector.