Se dice “a group of women has” o “a group of women have”?

Hace unos días una amiga nuestra, Carolina Jimenez, nos hizo una pregunta:

Se dice “10% of women has” o “10% of women have”? “a group of women has” o “a group of women have”?Pregunto a los anglohablantes aqui y todos me dicen que “have” pero para mi no tiene sentido. Si el sujeto de la oracion es “a group” o “the 10%” es singular y debería ser “has” . Segun ellos “this group has” pero “this group of women have”? no tiene sentido!!!

Mi respuesta fue que en inglés de UK usamos this group of womenhave porque women es plural, pero que hay que tener cuidado con las diferentes versiones de USA y UK y que tendría que consultarlo con alguno de nuestros profesores.

Carolina, a la que le gusta investigar, decidió consultar a Richard Nordquis, un lingüista de USA que le contestó lo siguiente:

Hello Carolina.

These are all excellent examples of how tricky agreement (or concord) can be in English grammar–even for nativeQuestion speakers. To make things even more complicated, conventional usage in American English (especially in regard to collective nouns) isn’t always the same as conventional usage in British English.

One thing I’d encourage you to do is review my page on “notional agreement” at http://grammar.about.com/od/mo/g/notionalagreementterm.htm. Notional agreement (also called synesis) refers to grammatical constructions in which subject-verb agreement is determined by sense rather than the strict requirements of syntax. Thus we say “10% of women have” because the meaning is plural. “The nice thing about notional agreement,” says Barry Tarshis, “is that you can usually defend any choice you make” (Grammar for Smart People, 1993).

As far as collective nouns (http://grammar.about.com/od/c/g/collnounterm.htm) like “group” and “majority,” the tendency in American English is to follow them with singular verb forms–but not always. (Sometimes notional agreement overrides syntactic agreement.) In British English it’s the opposite. Here’s a bit more on the subject:

“American and British English often differ in their treatment of agreement with collective nouns, i.e. nouns with singular form but plural meaning, such as committee, family, government, enemy. InAmerican English the singular is usually preferred with such nouns, but in British English they are sometimes followed by a verb form in the plural and a plural pronoun: AmE The government has decided that it has to launch a campaign. BrE The government have decided that they have to launch a campaign. This difference is especially clear in sports writing: AmE Mexico wins against New Zealand. BrE Mexico win against New Zealand. However, staff and police normally take plural agreement in American English as well. . . .

Although Americans mostly use singular agreement with the verb, they are likely to use plural pronouns to refer to collective nouns (see further Levin 1998):

AmE That’s the sign of a team that has a lot of confidence in their players.” (Gunnel Tottie, An Introduction To American English. Blackwell, 2002)

Finally, here’s another article that you may find helpful: Proximity Agreement (http://grammar.about.com/od/pq/g/proximityagreement.htm).

Though English may not be your first language, I have a hunch that you know more about English grammar than most native speakers. I wish you all the best.

Richard”

Excelente explicación…. y duda resuelta.

Como en muchas cosas se usa diferente en USA y en UK.

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