A young couple with a baby have just moved into the house next door

A sentence from a dictionary:
A young couple with a baby “have” just moved into the house next door.

Question: I wonder why it’s used “have” instead of “has”. It’s because a couple with a baby, right?
Thank you!!

Great question! Honestly, there is no rule for collective nouns. Depending on where one is from, they may use “has” or “have” in this situation (or similar ones that include nouns like, family and couple). American English tend to think of it as a singular unit while the Britons view these nouns as plural.

Here is some more reading for you on collective nouns: Grammar Girl - Quick and Dirty Tips


Thank you for the help!!

SDPhil is probably right and his link (which I haven’t reviewed) probably gives good insight.

However, the sentence above sounds awkward. I think it should be HAS. I would word it this way:

“A young couple WITH a baby HAS mvoed …”

“A young couple AND a baby HAVE moved…”

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It sounds akward because you are from the US :wink: it sounds fine to my british ears


This sentence uses British English which collective nouns can be singular or plural depending on the writer’s idea of the noun involved.

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