Brazil were beaten, 2 to1

Brazil were beaten, 2 to 1.

Question: Is it okay to say Brazil was beaten, 2 to 1? Is it grammatically wrong?

Thank you!!!

I’m assuming of course that we are talking about the game of football.

Not sure about the grammar, and people will certainly understand you with “2 to 1” but at least in UK English, the conventional expression is “Brazil lost two one”. Not that that happens very often of course! You could also say “Belgium won two one”.

If you want to mention the winning and losing team you would say “Germany beat Brazil seven one”. Or “Brazil lost to Germany seven one”.

If the game is live, you might say “Brazil are losing six one against Germany”.

I believe this is a stylistic (not grammar) question as American English speakers express scores differently, being influenced by the language of sports other than football.


Hi Lily, I am from the USA so the American dialect may be different from the British dialect. I would say “Brazil lost 2 to 1”. “Brazil was beaten 2 to 1” is perfectly correct grammatically and understood, but with a passive verb structure.

Brazil lost to Belgium 2 to 1. Or - Belgium beat Brazil 2 to 1.



I’ve just realized that I may have misread your question.

Strictly, and grammatically, I believe you should say “was beaten”. The team is considered a singular entity. This applies also when talking about companies and other organizations.

Having said that, many people (including me), particularly in the UK, have developed the habit of referring to teams and companies in the plural; often it simply sounds better and sounds right. I would speculate that part of the unconcious logic is that a team consists of a number of individuals. The collection of individuals lost the game. The idea that a company or team is a singular entity is an artificial construct as in reality they are all just a collection of individuals.

So you could say, “Brazil were beaten two one” or even “Brazil were beat two one” and very few people, if anyone at all, will correct you.

Similarly you could say “Tesla was fined by the SEC” to be correct. But you could also say “Tesla were fined by the SEC”.

In the English game you would say “Burnley were relegated”. I think people would be less likely to say “Burnley was relegated”.