A Group Of People Is Or Are?

Have you ever wondered the subject “a group of people” takes plural or singular verb? What about other collective nouns like family, team, audience, herd, etc? Should we treat them as singular or plural? Keep reading on to know the answer to these questions.


We all know that a singular subject takes a singular verb, whereas a plural subject always goes with a plural verb. That is definitely the most basic subject-verb agreement rule that all learners of English were taught in the very first grammar lessons.

But if we give you a collective noun such as a group (of people), then what do you think it is singular or plural subject? Does it take singular or plural verb? To illustrate to this question, we’ll give 2 sentences and what you need to do here is to choose the one that you think it’s grammatically correct.

1. A group of people is riding bike.

2. A group of people are riding bike.

Are you done? Which one is correct in your opinion? Now, it’s time for us to find the answer to this question. But first, we need to check out the important subject-verb agreement rules with collective nouns, then you yourself will know whether “a group of people” takes is or are?

What are Collective nouns?

Collective nouns are considered a category of noun in English. They refer to groups of people, animals, or thingsconsidered as a whole. Words like group, herd, flock, team, class, family, band, board, audience, array, and so on are among very common collective nouns in English.

For example:

My family travelled to Thailand last month.

I really love my team.

The herd of cows is walking in the field.

Now, you are clear about what collective nouns are. Let’s move on to learn about the subject and verb agreement with collective nouns in the next part of this writing.

Subject-Verb agreement with collective nouns

The general rule is that it’s okay for us totreat most collective nouns as either plural or singular. Everything depends on the context of the sentence.

If the noun is considered as a single unit, it’s used with a singular verb.

For example: The team is winning the game. (The team is seen as a single unit.)

But if the focus is on the individuals of the group, it’s appropriate to use plural verb here.

For example: The team have cooperated so well. (Team is seen as more than one individual.)

Note: According to oxforddictionaries.com, most collective nouns are treated as singular in American English, while they can be treated as either plural or singular in British English (like the rule mentioned above.). However, using a plural is also acceptable in AmE if the writer/speaker wants to emphasize the individuals of a group.

A group of people is or are

According to the subject-verb agreement with collective nouns listed above, either “a group of people is” or “a group of people are” is acceptable. That, of course, depends on what you want to emphasize or focus on. Do you want to mention to “a group of people” as a unit or many people in that group? Answer this question first, then you will know the verb form you need to use is singular or plural.

​For example:

A group of people is playing football. -- Correct

A group of people are on their bikes running towards the city center. -- Correct

Wrap up

To be honest, it’s not easy to decide whether a collective noun is used with plural or singular verb because it really depends on the emphasis of the sentence. But with everything we mentioned in this post, we hope that for now on, you will no longer wonder or get confused when it comes to matching verbs to collective nouns.

If you find this post useful and interesting, don’t forget to like and share it. Thanks you for readingour today’s article!

Minor keywords: subject verb agreement with collective nouns, herd of cows, collective nouns in English, what are collective nouns.

Busier Or More Busy – Which Is The Comparative Form Of Busy?

What do you think the comparative form of adjective Busy is? Is it Busier or More busy? Do you pick your choice? Let’s check out our today’s writing to see if your choice is correct or incorrect!


When browsing around the webs, watching TV, or chatting with friends, have you ever noticed the fact that people use both busier and more busy as the comparative form of the adjective busy? We bet that you have. So the question here is that “Which is the right comparative form of the word “busy” between Busier and More busy?

”In fact, that is a quite common question that many English language learners wonder about. And in this article, we will together find out the grammatically correct comparative and superlative forms of the word “busy”.

But before that, we are going to explain to you the meaning of this word and, more importantly, the basic rules of forming comparative and superlative adjectives in English. Let’s do it right now.Are you ready? Here we go.

What does busy mean?

Busy is not only an adjective, it’s also a verb. As an adjective, “busy” means having a lot of things to do. As a verb, this word has similar meaning to the verb occupy. Let’s take a look at the examples below here to see how the word busy is used in the sentences.

She was too busy to talk to me. -- Adjective

He busied herself with his new apartment. -- Verb

You are clear about the meaning and usage of the word “busy”, aren’t you? Let’s move on to get some basic rules of how to form comparative and superlative adjectives in English so that you yourself will determine whether “busier” or “more busy” is the correct comparative form of “busy”.

Rules of forming regular comparative and superlative adjectives

Forming comparatives and superlativesis quite simple and easy. The form really depends on the number of syllables (1, 2, 3 or more syllables) in the original adjective.

• One syllable adjectives

- To form the comparative and superlative of one-syllable adjectives, you just need to add -er ending for the comparative form and -est ending for the superlative form.

For example:

Tall →taller / tallest

Small → smaller / smallest

- If the adjective has aconsonant-vowel-consonant spelling, the final consonant must be doubled before adding -er or -est ending to make superlative and comparative forms.

For example:

Big → bigger / biggest;

Thin → thinner / thinnest,

Hot → hotter / hottest

- For adjectives ending with ‘y’, changethe ‘y’ to ‘i’first before adding -er or -est, like dry → drier / driest.

- For adjective ending with ‘e’, we don't need to add another 'e', just 'r' or ‘st’, such as large → larger/ largest.

• Two-syllable adjectives

- With most two-syllable adjectives, we form the comparative and superlative by preceding the adjectives with more and most.

For example:

Careful → more careful / most careful

Thoughtful →more thoughtful / most thoughtful

Peaceful →more peaceful / most peaceful

- However, for two-syllable adjectives ending with ‘y’, change the ‘y’ to ‘i’ then add -er ending to form the comparative and -est to form the superlative.

For example:

Happy → happier / happiest

Pretty → prettier - prettiest

Ugly → uglier – ugliest

- Also, adjectives with 2 syllables that end in -le, -er, or -ow also take -er and –est endings to form the comparative and superlative.

For example:

Simple (end in -le) → simpler / simplest

Clever (end in -er) →cleverer / cleverest

Narrow (end in -ow) →narrower / narrowest

• Three syllable adjectives

Adjectives with more than two syllables (three or more syllables) can only form their comparative by adding more and their superlative by adding most in front of the adjective.

For example:

Expensive → more expensive / most expensive

Intelligent →more intelligent / most intelligent

Beautiful →more beautiful / most beautiful

Busier vs more busy – Which one is the comparative form of busy?

Right above here, we reminded you of some very important and basic rules of formingthe comparative and superlative of regular adjectives in English. If we apply these rules to the case of “busy”, will we have“busier” or “more busy” as the comparative form of this word?

Right from the first look, we know that “busy” is a two-syllable adjective and it ends with ‘y’. Look back the rules above, in order to form the comparative, we have to change the ‘y’ to ‘i’ and add –er, right? So, busier is, of course, the right comparative form of “busy”. It’s absolutely similar to the way we make the comparative form of“happy”, “pretty”, or “ugly”.

She got busier and busier with her business. -- Correct

She got more and more busy with her business. -- Not correct

Wrap up

Through this post, we together checked out important rules of forming the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives in English. Thanks to these rules, we now very surely know that the right comparative form of “busy” is “busier”, not more busy, right?

After this article, we hope that from now on, you will always perfectly make the comparative and superlative forms of all adjectives in English, no matter whetherthey are long or short adjectives. In the end, we really wish that this article is helpful and interesting to you!

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Twelveth vs Twelfth vs Twelvth

While “twelfth” actually exists in English, what about other words “twelveth” and “twelvth”? Are they considered the real English words? Or they are just common spelling mistakes? Keep reading on to know our answers to these questions …

One third, One-third, or One-thirds

How to spell a fraction like 1/3 in English? It should be one-third, one-thirds, one third, or a third? The fraction takes singular or plural verbs in a sentence? If you want to know the answers to all of these questions, just keep reading on to get the details and our explanations.