English with Ma’am Fe

Refresher no. 16 on subject-verb agreement; on collective nouns.

Choose the correct verb to complete the sentence.

1. The orchestra (renders, render) a magnificent interpretation of the Visayan song “Ay, Kalisud.”

2. The board (was, were) congratulated for its prompt action on the privileges sought by senior employees of the company.

3. The staff (suggests, suggest) varied activities for their days off. 4. The jury (has, have) given a unanimous verdict.

5. Members of the orchestra (makes, make ) sure that their instruments are well taken care of before and after every performance.

6. The faculty of our college (holds, hold) a monthly meeting regularly. 7. (Is, Are) the House of Representatives in session now?

8. The team of specialists (shares, share) their views on the benefits and limitations of the latest vaccine.

9. The board (has, have) to reconsider its previous decision because of the prevailing pandemic.

10. The municipal council (was, were) in session when the governor arrived.

11. The staff of the clinic (has, have) established guidelines to be observed by its clientele.

12. The board of directors (takes, take) their favorite snacks before they start the meeting.


1. renders

2. was

3. suggest

4. has

5. make

6. holds

7. Is

8. share

9. has

10. was

11. has

12. take

REMINDERS: A collective noun is used to name a group of persons, animals or things.

Examples: class, council, jury, audience, band, committee, staff, swarm, pride (of lions), herd, cluster, bunch, etc. A collective noun may take a singular or plural verb depending on the sense of the sentence. – Use a singular verb if the collective noun is taken as a unit. (See sentences 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 11.).

Use a plural verb if the collective noun refers to the individual members of the group. (See sentences 3, 5, 8, and 12.) – Watch for clues that may help you identify whether a collective noun is singular or plural. If possible, use them in your sentences to make your meaning clear. Singular collective nouns are usually paired with the pronouns IT and ITS. (See sentences 2, 9, and 11). Plural collective nouns are paired with the pronouns THEIR and THEY as well as with the noun MEMBERS. (See sentences 3, 5, 8, and 12).*