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[company name] has bought OR [company name] have bought...Which is correct?

English translation: If the text is intended for a British market, use "have"; if the market is American, use "has".

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08:02 May 24, 2002
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: [company name] has bought OR [company name] have bought...Which is correct?
A colleague and I disagree on the use of `has´ vs `have´ in this sentence. Which option is correct?
anon
English translation:If the text is intended for a British market, use "have"; if the market is American, use "has".
Explanation:
In American usage, a company name is thought to refer to a singular entity, and therefore needs the singular form of the verb (has); in British usage, the name of a company is generally taken to be a collective noun and therefore takes the plural form of the verb (have).
Selected response from:

cathell
Grading comment
A clear and simpel answer. You deserve my credits.

Yours, sincerly

anon
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +213 rd person singular - has bought
Olga Simon
4 +4US vs. UK usage
Victoria Barkoff
5 +1If the text is intended for a British market, use "have"; if the market is American, use "has".cathell


  

Answers


1 min   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +21
3 rd person singular - has bought


Explanation:
O.S.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-05-24 08:06:13 (GMT)
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When it comes to a company what I ahve seen was that the 3rd person singular is always used.

E.g.: CNN says
British Ariways flies
Lufthansa has slashed 2000 jobs recently etc.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-05-24 08:07:20 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Sorry for the typo - what I HAve seen, of course!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-05-24 08:09:15 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Here is an example for you from Internet:

Australian IT - Baltimore\'s local arm sold (Caitlin Fitzsimmons, ...
... local arm sold Caitlin Fitzsimmons MAY 03, 2002. AN Australian company has bought
the local operations of global security giant Baltimore Technologies for $5.7 ...

www.australianit.com.au/articles/ 0,7204,4248582%5E15316%5E%5Enbv%5E15306,00.html

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-05-24 18:14:15 (GMT)
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In my comment to cathell please read UK rather than US.

Olga Simon
Hungary
Local time: 23:32
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in pair: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Alison Schwitzgebel: precisely
1 min
  -> Thank you

agree  Indojin: exactly.... singular should be used. - "has" is correct.
8 mins

agree  VERTERE
13 mins

agree  Andy Watkinson: Singular
16 mins

agree  Mary Worby: Always singular, even if the company name is plural! (-:
20 mins
  -> Exactly. That is why I brought the "British Airways" example. Thank you.

agree  Barbara Østergaard: probably one of you consider it to be a collective noun (though I would also use the singular)
21 mins

agree  Antonella M
47 mins

agree  Ana Hermida
48 mins
  -> Thank you eveybody!

agree  jerrie
1 hr

agree  Attila Piróth
1 hr
  -> Koszi, Attila

agree  Chris Rowson: Yes, this is what is correct, although "British Airways have", and even "Lloyds Bank have" are often heard, and sometimes written. But you are asking what is correct.
1 hr

agree  Yoshiro Shibasaki, PhD
1 hr

agree  Lydia Molea
1 hr

agree  Сергей Лузан
1 hr
  -> Ñïàñèáî, Ñåðãåé

neutral  John Kinory: You are right in part. The company HAS, yes; but in BE, British Airways flies OR FLY to Japan. But other names, e.g. Lloyds Bank, can be either.
2 hrs

agree  Piotr Kurek
4 hrs

disagree  cathell: Depends on British or American usage
5 hrs
  -> There are a few US peers giving their votes here (see below), they seem to think "has" is correct..

agree  xxxBBW,linguist
5 hrs

agree  Mirona Ciocirlie: Agree with Chris Rowson.
6 hrs
  -> Thank you, everybody.

agree  Arthur Borges: (US vote)
7 hrs
  -> Appreciate your opinion!

agree  athena22: US usage: singular always.
8 hrs
  -> Thanks a lot.

agree  AhmedAMS
8 hrs

agree  yolanda Speece: Has because it may be many people but it is ONE company. I totally agree.
9 hrs

agree  Sue Crocker
1 day7 hrs
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
US vs. UK usage


Explanation:
The usage may differ between Britain and North America:

"Use of a plural verb after a singular noun denoting a group of persons (known as a noun of multitude) is commoner in the U.K. than in the U.S. "

Examples:

US
"All company names are singular. A company is a "legal entity , an artificial legal being." It is singular, not plural. This applies even if the name itself seems to be plural. (refer to the Wall street Journal and observe its reference to companies in the singular.)
http://www.mgt.smsu.edu/SyllabiPDF-F01/abrahamCommonErrors.P...

England
BBC (British Broadcasting )
"As part of the Director - General's pioneering Project Hull initiative, the BBC are launching a full local television news service."
www.bbc.co.uk/jobs/e54798.shtml

Manchester Guardian site:
"he BBC are undoubtably the best in the world at creating period dramas"
www.anu.edu.au/nceph/Tor/saffron.html

"... If the BBC are serious about trying to secure the rights to show ..."
sport.guardian.co.uk/columnists/theobserver/ story/0,10541,668760,00.html



The Motley fool UK
Banking is a very competitive business...Lloyds are the past masters of cost-cutting and cost control, and today's figures are no exception.
http://216.239.51.100/search?q=cache:LooUTYIU6FwC:uk.biz.yah...

LLOYDS BANK EQUAL OPPORTUNITY STATEMENT

Lloyds have added schools and colleges in areas of high ethnic mix to their schools' liaison and university recruitment schedules.

Lloyds are often asked by ethnic minority students to consider them ...

http://www.merseyworld.com/bitc/race/lloyds.html

Victoria Barkoff
Local time: 17:32
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Theodore Fink: This is correct. I'm very surprised at the quasi-unanimity on the singular view. It does seem, though, that the plural form is on its way out. It was very common when I was young.
10 mins

agree  John Kinory: The police ARE ... even in the USA, perhaps?
47 mins

agree  Sue Goldian
4 hrs

agree  AhmedAMS
5 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
If the text is intended for a British market, use "have"; if the market is American, use "has".


Explanation:
In American usage, a company name is thought to refer to a singular entity, and therefore needs the singular form of the verb (has); in British usage, the name of a company is generally taken to be a collective noun and therefore takes the plural form of the verb (have).

cathell
Grading comment
A clear and simpel answer. You deserve my credits.

Yours, sincerly

anon

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Chris Rowson: I thought collective nouns take the singular, e.g. a flock of sheep has ... The reason for Lloyds Bank have is that it is perceived as consisting of many people.
10 mins

agree  John Kinory: Chris is wrong: it's not like a collective noun at all. Sainsbury's ARE opening new branches is the usual British phrasing.
9 hrs
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