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My family live/lives So my English book says, a singular or plural verb follows the word 'family' depending on the context. But I wonder this is also the case in American English. Can any American tell me which one you prefer? (1) My family all gather on Christmas Eve. (2) My family all gathers on Christmas Eve. (3) My family come from Scotland. (4) My family comes from Scotland. Thanks :)
Oct 15, 2016 10:13 AM
Answers · 11
British English has these options but American English only tolerates the singular. I always recommend to students that they use the singular because that is always correct everywhere.
October 15, 2016
Thank you for your question. Just a quick comment, we do have plural nouns like 'people.' But in this case 'family' is singular. That is, it is a singular collective noun. The verb conjugation then requires 's'. All of (the members of) my family always gathers together at my cousin's house for x-mas. My family comes from Scotland. Your family lives in Scotland? All of your family lives here?
October 15, 2016
It depends whether the group is acting as a group or acting singly. I would say "my family all gather on Christmas Eve" and "my family comes from Scotland". I believe it is true that British English more often recognizes the plural (and is more often correct).
October 15, 2016
My first reaction when reading those sentences was to say that, "My family all gathers on Christmas Eve." "My family comes from Scotland." were the correct sentences. I think that in the first pair of sentences, both would be acceptable in the United States.
October 20, 2016
I'll say I would use both the second choices for the two different sentences.
October 15, 2016
Language Skills
English, Korean
Learning Language