Does "personnel" take a singular or a plural verb? - Germany

Update: It depends

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mgr
Hi everyone,

Any English cracks around on this sunny afternoon? I've been looking at this phrase for too long and I now can't decide which is correct. Can someone give me a helping hand, please, please und nochmal please?

The gist being ... the said human resources need to be sufficiently qualified to do the job i.e. have the appropriate qualifications.

Huge advance thanks for any answers.
gail123
are
Orla_inka
Have a look here:

My gut was going with "are".
Kazalphaville
Depends on whether you want to see "personnel" as a body (singular, so "is") or as individual persons (plural, so "are").
BattalionBoy
Personnel is used with a plural verb as in:
All personnel are being given the day off.

But you would have to post the complete sentence here to know for sure.
gail123
You don't get a choice.
It's a collective noun which is treated as taking a plural: are. If you don't like the way it sounds, use a different word, as: the Employee is.
I do understand this is different in German.
TGB
Kazalphaville is correct.

If you are using personnel as a collective noun (like a group of employees), then use are.

If you are using personnel as the part of a company that deals with personnel, then use is.
robinson100
It's a collective noun, so would be referred to as "they" - it follows on that if you use the verb "to be" you will have to use "are".
(finally somebody asks something I can actually answer!)
skorpiola
Are.
Chad8504
Kazalphaville and TGB are both correct. It can be either singular or plural. If you are using it in reference to the personnel department of a business, then you can use the singular form of the verb ("personnel is required to..."). If you are using it in reference to the employees of a company, then it would be a plural collective noun and require the form of the verb ("personnel are required to...").
Kazalphaville
This might help to clarify it:

http://www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/singular_plural_%20collective_noun.htm
mgr
Good morning all,

Thank you so much for all the suggestions and for some truly useful links that I don't yet have in my collection.

It seems my worst fears are becoming reality: I've been in D so long I don't necessarily write English instinctively anymore. I never believed it could happen to ME! A big thank you for such useful answers - to Toytown as well, for the opportunity to get a quick response when needed. I can now finish the work without too many self doubts!

Cheers
robinson100
I've been in D so long I don't necessarily write English instinctively anymore. I never believed it could happen to ME!
Wot? Like wot we does?!
We wheelly is a grate team 'ere, don't u fink?

Glad you could get your work finished!
Hopefully you can still enjoy part of the weekend now!
BattalionBoy
If you need to make an impression and you want to come across as intelligent and educated then I would avoid writing personnel when one really means personnel department.

If this aint the case then you can rite anyway shit you like.
rheinmain
Collective nouns differ between British and American English. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_and_British_English_differences#Formal_and_notional_agreement

In BrE, collective nouns can take either singular (formal agreement) or plural (notional agreement) verb forms, according to whether the emphasis is on the body as a whole or on the individual members respectively; compare a committee was appointed with the committee were unable to agree.[10][11] The term the Government always takes a plural verb in British civil service convention, perhaps to emphasise the principle of cabinet collective responsibility.[12] Compare also the following lines of Elvis Costello's song "Oliver's Army": Oliver's Army are on their way / Oliver's Army is here to stay. Some of these nouns, for example staff,[13] actually combine with plural verbs most of the time.

In AmE, collective nouns are usually singular in construction: the committee was unable to agree. AmE may use plural pronouns, however, in agreement with collective nouns: the team take their seats, rather than the team takes its seats. The rule of thumb is that a group acting as a unit is considered singular and a group of "individuals acting separately" is considered plural.[14] However such a sentence would most likely be recast as the team members take their seats. Despite exceptions such as usage in The New York Times, the names of sports teams are usually treated as plurals even if the form of the name is singular.[15]

The difference occurs for all nouns of multitude, both general terms such as team and company and proper nouns (for example where a place name is used to refer to a sports team). For instance,

BrE: The Clash are a well-known band; AmE: The Clash is a well-known band.
BrE: Spain are the champions; AmE: Spain is the champion.

Proper nouns that are plural in form take a plural verb in both AmE and BrE; for example, The Beatles are a well-known band; The Saints are the champions, with one major exception: largely for historical reasons, in American English, the United States is is almost universal.
That said, one person is never referred to as " a personnel " in either variant of the language. Personnel always are.

German collective nouns trip me up all the time (" information ", "a bread ", "a spectacles ") , but I soldier on using the English forms because the rest of the language is enough of a cruel joke to start with.
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