April 22, 2012 - Word of the Day: group
When used as a noun, the word "group" identifies more than one thing or more than one person with something in common:
- A group is meeting in the conference room.
What do they have in common? They're meeting in the conference room. They are all together in one place and that makes them a group.
Notice the singular verb is used in the sentence above even though the idea of a group implies more than one member. In British English, the plural form for "be" (are) would be used. ("The group are meeting....")
Now take a look at this sentence:
- A group of people are waiting to get into the store.
If the word "group" is followed by words that emphasize the plural nature of the group, use the plural verb. It would sound strange to say, "A group of people is waiting...."
Here are some more ways in which the word "group" is used:
- Jim and his friends are forming a rock group.
- There's a group of protesters picketing outside of that company.
- The teacher put the students into groups so that they could practice their conversation skills.
- Naseen belongs to a group of people who are interested in improving their community.
- A large group of trees fell over in the storm.
- I created a group of lessons for beginning level students.
- I took a group of my students on a trip to the library:
- a group of my students
You can also use the word "group" as a verb:
- The government groups people according to their income.
- Children are usually grouped by age when a school assigns their grade level.
- The vultures are grouping around a dead animal.
This is a vulture. He's ready to eat!
Click here to go to the Word of the Day page.