British english and american english: company, team, and band names

British English and American English: Company, Team, and Band Names

A collective noun is a noun that represents a collection of individuals, usually people, such as:

  • a team (for example: eleven football players)
  • a family (for example: mother, father and two children)
  • a crew (for example: 100 sailors)

Here are some more collective noun examples. As you see, collective nouns can consist of a few people or tens, hundreds or thousands of people:

  • committee, jury, senate, company, audience, police, army

Most collective nouns are groups of people, but some refer to animals or objects, for example:

  • animals: a herd of cows, a flock of sheep
  • objects: a fleet of ships, a convoy of trucks

Proper Nouns as Collective Nouns

Many collective nouns are common nouns, but they can also be proper nouns when they are the name of a company or other organisation with more than one person, for example Microsoft. Here are some more examples of collective nouns that are proper nouns:

  • Sony, Apple, CNN, the BBC, the United Nations, WHO, Thai Air, Interpol, the FBI, Cambridge University, Manchester United

Is a Collective Noun Singular or Plural?

Each of the collective nouns above is a single “thing”. But it consists of more than one individual. So the question arises: is a collective noun singular or plural?

To which the answer is: it depends. A collective noun can be singular OR plural, depending on how you see the individuals in the group.

If you see the individuals acting together, as a whole, then you probably treat the collective noun as singular (with singular verbs and singular pronouns), for example:

  • The jury has delivered its conclusion to the judge.

If you see the individuals acting individually, then you probably treat the collective noun as plural (with plural verbs and plural pronouns), for example:

  • The jury have not reached a conclusion because they are still arguing among themselves.

Note that as a general rule:

  • British English tends to treat collective nouns as plural
  • American English tends to treat them as singular

So in the example above, American English speakers might use a singular verb with jury and rephrase the rest of the sentence to avoid a logical absurdity:

  • The jury has not reached a conclusion because its members are still arguing among themselves.

However, even in American English, it is acceptable to use a plural verb if you really wish to emphasize the individuality of the collective noun members.

  • The San Francisco crowd were their usual individualistic selves.

In American English it is also possible to use a plural pronoun with a singular verb, as in:

  • The family next door is very quiet. We never hear them.

British English and American English: Company, Team, and Band Names In all varieties of English, the collective noun police is always treated as plural:

  • The police are coming.
  • The police were the first on the scene.
  • The police have issued their report.

A Collective Noun Can Itself Be Singular and Plural

In most cases a collective noun can itself be plural. In other words, you can have more than one collective noun. For example, in a game of football there are TWO teams. In a street there are many families. In such cases, a plural verb is automatically used, as in these examples:

  • The many ships' crews in port at the time were constantly fighting.
  • The two companies have been negotiating for over a week.
See also:  How to think about addition

Finally, here are some more example sentences..

collective noun treated as singular
collective noun treated as plural
The club was founded in 2003. The club are currently displaying their best photos.
Does Sony make mobile phones? Do Sony plan to make cars?
The board of directors uses this room for its meetings. The board of directors are eating sandwiches for their lunch.
The family next door is very quiet. We never hear them.* My family are always arguing. The neighbours often hear us.
The school reopens in September. The school are preparing for their winter marathon.
CNN does

Are Names of Sports Teams and Bands Singular, or Plural?

British English and American English: Company, Team, and Band Names

When referring to athletic teams or similar groups, what form of verb or pronoun applies? The recent victory of the Miami Heat over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the National Basketball Association championships indirectly put this issue in the headlines.

I don’t follow professional sports, so I didn’t even know these teams existed, but when I saw a headline about the game, I was intrigued by the fact that both team names are singular in form, rather than plural (as in the case of “the Los Angeles Lakers” or “the Chicago Bulls”). Back in the old days, before a handful of NBA teams with singular-form names came on the scene (the Utah Jazz and the Orlando Magic are the others), the answer to this question was threefold but simple:

When referring to the team by its full name, pronouns and verbs take the plural form: “The Los Angeles Lakers are going to the playoffs.

” When referring to the organization that manages the team, they should be singular: “The Lakers organization is downplaying the incident.

” When the geographical designation alone is employed, go with the singular form: “Los Angeles is leading the division.”

But now that we have Heat, Jazz, Magic, and Thunder to contend with, what’s the rule? The Chicago Manual of Style provides no guidance about the issue, but The Associated Press Stylebook provides a definitive answer: Nothing’s changed: The Miami Heat are the new NBA champs. The Thunder lost, and they went home determined not to let that happen again.

British English and American English: Company, Team, and Band Names

It’s true. You aren’t imagining the difference. These aren’t hard-and-fast rules, but British English tends to treat team names, band names, and company names as plural, whereas American English tends to treat them as singular. And it often jumps out at me when I see it.

Company Names: Singular or Plural?

For example, I took a screenshot of a headline from the British publication “The Guardian” a few years ago because I knew I would write about this someday.

See also:  How to calculate the day of the week of any date

It read, “Amazon aren’t destroying publishing, they’re reshaping it.

” That headline is treating the company name, “Amazon,” as plural, but in American English, we’d definitely treat it as singular and write, “Amazon isn’t destroying publishing.”

Team Names: Singular or Plural?

Looking at “The Guardian” today, I found this example of how team or group names are handled differently.

There are a group of six footballers, or as we’d call them, soccer players, who were featured in a documentary about the team called Manchester United, and they’re known as the “Class of ‘92.

” Today’s headline reads, “Manchester United’s ‘class of 92’ unveil plans to open university.”

In American English, we’d treat “class of 92” as singular and say the “class of 92” unveils plan to open a university.”

The Complete Guide to British and American English • Albion Languages

This comprehensive guide is designed to help translators and proofreaders navigate through the many differences between British and American English in formatting, grammar, spelling and vocabulary.

For two countries that many still claim to speak the same language, the differences between British and American English are surprisingly extensive.

From punctuation to idioms, they are vast and varied, fully capable of affecting meaning and causing confusion. Worse still is their ability to break the emotional connection between the reader and the message of the translation.

A simple spelling mistake, a z instead of an s for example, is sure to make your reader think, “this is not intended for me”.

All into-English translators need to be aware of these key differences. Adapting your translation to the specific demands of British or American English is a simple yet essential method to ensure that your English translation is both accurate and effective.


DD/MM/YY               17 February 2017 MM/DD/YY               February 17, 2017
Full stop + am/pm    
9.30 am (AM, PM/a.m., p.m.)
Colon + am/pm  
9:30 am (AM, PM/a.m., p.m.)


No full stop after titles         Dr Mr Mrs Ms Full stop after titles          Dr. Mr. Mrs. Ms.
Lowercase number abbreviation    no. 5790 Capitalised number abbreviation   No. 5790
Only uses Oxford comma at the end of a list for clarification
I had eggs, toast and orange juice.
Almost always uses Oxford comma
I had eggs, toast, and orange juice.
Punctuation outside quotation marks (unless it is part of the spoken sentence).
“Hello”, she said, “How are you today?”
Punctuation inside quotation marks
“Hello,” she said, “How are you today?”

Compound Nouns

Always uses hyphens for compound adjectives before a noun          
a print-out presentation
Tends to make compound words
  a printout presentation
Gerund + Noun            Skipping Rope Infinitive + Noun         Jump rope

Collective Nouns

  • Usually plural – A group is typically thought of as a group of individuals
  • The committee were unable to agree.
  • Liverpool are winning!
  • Muse are a great band.
  • The Beatles are playing at Wembley.
  1. Almost always singular, excluding plural sports teams and band names
  2. The committee was unable to agree.
  3. Liverpool is winning!
  4. The Patriots are winning!
  5. Muse is a great band.
  6. The Beatles are playing at Wembley.
See also:  Hanged versus hung


-t endings in past tense   learnt, dreamt -ed endings in past tense  learned, dreamed
Prefers present perfect
    I’ve just had dinner.
Prefers past tense over present perfect
  I just had dinner.
Past participle of get: Got                         
I’ve just got over a cold
I’ve just gotten over a cold
Past participle of Dive: Dived                 
He dived into the pool
He dove into the pool
  • Shall
  • I shall be there at 6.
  • Shall we go?
  1. Will or Should
  2. I will be there at 6.
  3. Should we go?
  • Have Got (to)
  • I’ve got a new job.
  • I’ve got to go.
  1. Have (to)
  2. I have a new job.
  3. I have to go.


At the weekend On the weekend
Play in a team Play on a team
In hospital In the hospital
Monday to Friday Monday through Friday
Fill in a form Fill out a form
Write to someone Write someone
At the back In the back


-ll          travelled, levelled -l            traveled, leveled
-re         centre, litre, theatre -er         center, liter, theater
-our       colour, favour -or         color, favor
-ce         licence, defence, -se         license, defense
-ise        summarise, organise -ize        summarize, organize
-lyse      analyse -lyze      analyze
-ae         aetiology, anaemia, haemoglobin -e          etiology, anemia, hemoglobin
-oe         foetus, oedema, oesophagus -e          fetus, edema, esophagus
-ogue     dialogue, analogue -og        dialog, analog
-ph         Sulphate, Sulphur -f           Sulfate, Sulfur
Programme Program
Kerb Curb
Grey Gray

General Vocabulary

Quarter past (six) Quarter after (six)
Half past six Six thirty
Ten to six Ten to, till, or before six
Anticlockwise Counter-clockwise
Fortnight Two weeks
Postcode Zip code
Telephone/Tel. Phone
Post Mail
Timetable Schedule
Car park Parking lot
Queue Line
Full stop Period
Nought/zero Zero
CV Resume
Holiday Vacation
Booking Reservation
City Centre Downtown
Flat Apartment
Lift Elevator
Ground floor First Floor
Expiry Date Expiration Date
Engaged Busy
Yours Sincerely, Sincerely Yours,
Yours Faithfully,
(when person addressed is not known)

Medical Vocabulary

General Practitioner Family Practitioner / Physician
Chemist / Chemist’s Pharmacist, Drugstore / Pharmacy
Clinical Trial Clinical Study

*Refer to Spelling: British medical terms consistently use – ae and – oe.

Learn more: UK/US Medical Degrees

Automotive / Technical Vocabulary

Lorry/ articulated lorry Truck/tractor-trailer
Caravan Trailer
Boot Trunk
Bonnet Hood
Tyre Tire
Petrol Gas
Gear lever Gearshift
Silencer Muffler
Windscreen Windshield
Wing mirror Rearview mirror
Indicators Blinkers
Motorway Highway/ freeway/expressway
Zebra crossing Crosswalk
Pavement Sidewalk
Torch Flashlight
Mobile Cellphone

 Learn more: UK/US Automotive Terms

Legal / Business Vocabulary

Solicitor / Barrister Lawyer, Attorney
Managing Director CEO (Chief Executive Officer)
Estate Agent Realtor
Cheque Check

Learn more: UK/US Financial Terms

Read more!

5 Tips for Clear, Concise English Translation

7 Steps to Quality Translation

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.