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edit Examples of are vs. is
- One boy is here. Two boys are here.
edit American vs British Usage
There are some interesting differences between American and British English in the use of is and are (or was and were) with collective nouns. In British English, collective nouns can take either singular or plural verb forms, according to whether the emphasis is on the body as a whole or on the individual members respectively. For example, A committee is a waste of time. And The committee are unable to agree upon any resolution. Another example is Elvis Costello's song "Oliver's Army": Oliver's Army are on their way / Oliver's Army is here to stay.
In American English, collective nouns are almost always singular in construction: the committee was unable to agree.
"Are vs Is." Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 2 Sep 2014. < http://www.diffen.com/difference/Are_vs_Is >