# Is it correct to say "The couple is fighting." or "The couple are fighting." Why?

Apr 7, 2018

It is proper to say "The couple is fighting" according to American grammar.

#### Explanation:

It seems strange to use a singular verb for a noun that contains two people - the verb should be plural if the subject has more than one person, right?

But, think about it: couple is actually a singular noun, so you should use a singular verb.

A couple is one thing, not two things. So couple is singular. The plural form is couples.

$\text{couple = singular}$
$\text{couples = plural}$

So with the noun couple, we would use singular verbs:

• $\text{The couple}$ $\textcolor{b l u e}{\text{sits}}$ $\text{on the bench together.}$

• $\text{That couple}$ $\textcolor{b l u e}{\text{talks}}$ $\text{to each other all the time.}$

And with the noun couples, we would use plural verbs:

• $\text{The couples}$ $\textcolor{b l u e}{\text{sit}}$ $\text{together in the booth.}$

• $\text{The couples}$ $\textcolor{b l u e}{\text{talk}}$ $\text{about their grandchildren}$ $\text{every time they get together.}$

This is called subject-verb agreement.

NOTE: In British English "the couple are fighting" would also be a proper answer, since they use both plural verbs and singular verbs with collective nouns.

Apr 7, 2018

The couples are fighting

#### Explanation:

In the word "couples", we find 2

When we have more than one thing, we used Are

It is not correct to say The couple is fighting because couple isn't one thing. It is always in plural.

It is not correct to say The couple are fighting because couple should ends with an *s.

Thus,

The correct way to say that is The couples are fighting