Have you ever doubted whether company names are singular or plural? Getting it wrong would mean using the wrong verb, which you don’t want to do.
Therefore, this page explains whether company names are considered singular or plural and shows popular company names in example sentences.
Is a Company Singular or Plural?
Company names are singular and plural. The company itself is a single entity and uses a singular verb. E.g., “Walmart is the largest supermarket in the US.” However, you use plural verbs when the name refers to employees or the company acting as a plural entity. E.g., “They were giving out free samples at Walmart.”
Some companies, such as sports teams and bands, are examples of “collective nouns.”
For collective nouns and company names, it is more common to use a third-person plural verb in the UK than in the US.
- The Chicago Bulls has won six NBA Championships. (US)
- The Chicago bull have won six NBA Championships. (UK)
However, with other types of companies, how you structure the sentence often determines the verb form you choose.
You are more likely to use a singular verb when referring to the “group” as a whole.
- Ford is based in Detroit.
- Amazon is the largest online retailer in the US.
If you refer to the company’s individuals or actions they are taking, it is more common to use a plural verb.
- The employees at Ford are demanding better working conditions.
- Amazon are currently recruiting in anticipation of Christmas.
Some examples are just regional differences between the US and the UK. For instance, singular verbs are more common in the US for company names than in the UK.
Keep reading to learn more ways to use company names in singular and plural.
Companies as Singular
Most companies are viewed as singular entities and use singular verbs when you refer to the whole company.
- American Airlines is the largest in the world and is based in Texas.
- Apple is a world leader in smartphone technology.
However, for some companies, such as sports teams, the US uses a singular verb, while the UK uses a plural verb.
- Italy is beating Argentina 2-0 in the semi-final. (US)
- Italy are beating Argentina 2-0 in the semi-final. (UK)
Although these rules provide general guidance, sometimes the difference between using “is/are” is not that drastic. Resulting in that, on many occasions, you can interchange them without much controversy.
Companies as Plural
Companies are often referred to in the plural, more so in British English than in the US.
In many cases, companies refer to themselves in the plural to emphasize a more personal or collective nature to what they do.
Also, when referring to what employees do, it is often more common to use a plural verb.
- Here at HP, we develop products built to make your life easier.
- Tesla are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date driverless technology.
Furthermore, if you use the company name as a substitute for a plural phrase such as “the employees of” or “the team from,” you should use a plural verb.
- Apple were celebrating this weekend because they had won the award for Best Design.
- Google were the surprise exclusion among the prize winners.
Despite these guidelines, both singular and plural verbs are sometimes used interchangeably.
When referring to teams in the US, it is more common to use singular verbs, and in the UK, plural verbs. However, the difference is sometimes pretty insignificant.
- Barcelona is the best football club in the world and is currently winning. (US)
- Barcelona are the best football club in the world and are currently winning. (UK)
You should use singular verbs when referring to the entire company as a single entity.” E.g., Microsoft has acquired a start-up.”
However, when referring to the individual employees or what employees do within the company, it is common to use a plural verb. E.g., “Here at GM, we strive to offer you the best,” or “Apple are the best for customer service.”
Furthermore, sometimes the difference is minor, but using plural verbs for companies is more common in the UK than in the US.