集合名詞

・集合名詞とは、人または事物の集合を表す名詞のことで、単数形として扱われるか、複数形として扱われるか、人か、動物か、物かにより、「family タイプ」、「police タイプ」、「furniture タイプ」に分けるのが一般的である。

1.単数扱いされる「familyタイプ」
・"family"、 "class"、"team"、"company"、 "audience"、"committee"、 "staff"など人の集合名詞。

[正]Tom's family was united on this question.
[誤]Tom's family were united on this question.
[正]Tom's family is always fighting among themselves.
[誤]Tom's family are always fighting among themselves.
[正]The staff is in a meeting.
[誤]The staff are in a meeting.
[正]Staff is acting as a unit here.
[誤]Staff are acting as a unit here.
[正]The staff is in disagreement about the findings.
[誤]The staff are in disagreement about the findings.
[正]The staff is acting as separate individuals in this example.
[誤]The staff are acting as separate individuals in this example.
[正]The Government is serious about its welfare programs.
[誤]The Government are serious about their welfare programs.
[正]The Council rarely intervenes unless it has been duly informed.
[誤]The Council rarely intervene unless they have been duly informed.
[正]The Congress thinks the case should be re-presented at its next sitting.
[誤]The Congress think the case should be re-presented at their next sitting.
[正]The Management wants the strike called off first.
[誤]The Management want the strike called off first.
[正]The Senate is holding its third meeting today.
[誤]The Senate are holding their third meeting today.
[正]The Parliament does not bother itself about that kind of issue.
[誤]The Parliament do not bother themselves about that kind of issue.

※上記の正誤の判断に関する限り、アメリカの文法サイトは、「アメリカ英語とイギリス英語は文法的に同じ」という国民感情を反映しているため、参考にならない。
※"COMPREHENSIVE GRAMMAR OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE"には、アメリカ英語とイギリス英語の集合名詞に関する違いが明確に記載されており、この本に関するアメリカ英語に関する記述を精査したClark氏は、"Paragraph 1.24 - British and American English. This section is entirely correct, as written."のように述べている。
※尚、上記の正誤の判断は、毎日ウィークリーの『Machigai』でお馴染みのティム・ヤング氏の判断に基づく。

・イギリス英語においては、単数・複数の両様に用いられる。

[英]Tom's family was united on this question.
[英]Tom's family were united on this question.
[英]Tom's family is always fighting among themselves.
[英]Tom's family are always fighting among themselves.
[英]The staff is in a meeting.
[英]The staff are in a meeting.
[英]Staff is acting as a unit here.
[英]Staff are acting as a unit here.
[英]The staff is in disagreement about the findings.
[英]The staff are in disagreement about the findings.
[英]The staff is acting as separate individuals in this example.
[英]The staff are acting as separate individuals in this example.
[英]The Government is serious about its welfare programs.
[英]The Government are serious about their welfare programs.
[英]The Council rarely intervenes unless it has been duly informed.
[英]The Council rarely intervene unless they have been duly informed.
[英]The Congress thinks the case should be re-presented at its next sitting.
[英]The Congress think the case should be re-presented at their next sitting.
[英]The Management wants the strike called off first.
[英]The Management want the strike called off first.
[英]The Senate is holding its third meeting today.
[英]The Senate are holding their third meeting today.
[英]The Parliament does not bother itself about that kind of issue.
[英]The Parliament do not bother themselves about that kind of issue.

2.常に複数扱いの「police タイプ」
・ "police"、"people"、"folk"、"cattle"など人・動物の集合名詞。

[正]The police were called.
[誤]A police was called.

3.常に単数扱いされる物の集合名詞。
・ "furniture"、"baggage"、"mail"、"clothing"など物の集合名詞。

[正]Your furniture looks great from the front yard.
[誤]Your furniture looks great from the front yard.

集合名詞の関連項目