The family is having fun
Collective nouns take a singular or plural verb depending on the context
A collective noun refers to a group of people or things, e.g. herd, assembly, staff, jury.
When a collective noun refers to a single entity it takes a singular verb.
The tax office is revising its management strategy.
The board is meeting on Monday.
When a collective noun is referring to a group of individuals it takes a plural verb.
The staff are giving each other presents.
Collective nouns can take either a singular or plural verb depending on the context. So you could treat a collective noun as singular if it referred to a single entity and plural if it referred to a number of individuals.
The family is united in its disapproval.
The family are taking separate holidays this year.
The Macquarie Dictionary says:
‘It is possible to treat collective nouns as singulars or plurals depending on whether the sense of unity or the sense of plurality is uppermost in the mind of the writer. Thus thinking of a team, we can say Australia is batting first or, thinking of the players, Australia are batting first.’
I often see writers using the singular verb after the collective noun, but then switching to the plural pronoun, they.
The company provides training. They facilitate courses nationwide.
While this is not grammatically correct, I think we increasingly accept this usage.
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