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Does the word
Government take a singular or plural verb?

By Mrs. Maria Rita : Vijayawada - India

Nouns such as government, committee, group, clan and family are used to refer both to a whole group as a singular entity and to the members of the group. So these words can take either a singular or plural verbs depending on the contexts.

• The Tamil Nadu government has announced pay hike for its employees.

• Has the government expressed its protest on the killing of innocent civilians in Sri Lanka?

In the following examples the noun government takes the plural verb as it refers to the members of the cabinet.

• The government are not in favour of implementing the sixth pay commission recommendations.

• The government do not have the right to ask the employees of a private company to withdraw their strike.

Similarly, if the noun
group is considered as a whole, it can be treated as a single entity.

• The group wants to take the test next Monday.

But when the individuality of its members is emphasized, group is plural.

• The group are not going to support your proposal.

In the above example, the group refers to individual members.

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