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Subject Verb Agreement

Be sure to use singular verbs with singular nouns, even if the noun is collective.
Incorrect: The team of Americans were the best in the tournament.

Correct: The team of Americans was the best in the tournament.


Also Correct:

The Americans were the best in the tournament.
Incorrect: The collection of documents from the revolution were stolen.

Correct: The collection of documents from the revolution was stolen.


Also Correct:

The documents from the revolution were stolen.


Explanation: The subjects "team" and "collection" are singular because there is only one "team of Americans" and one "collection of documents" in each sentence. Although these are collective nouns, in that they represent a group, they nonetheless take singular verbs in American English usage.
 

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