Collective nouns, such as family, majority, audience, and committee, are singular when they act in a collective fashion or represent one group.

List of Common Collective Nouns

army
audience
band (musical)
board (political)
cabinet (political)
choir
class
committee
company
corporation

clergy
council
crowd
department
enemy
group
herd
faculty
family
team

government
jury
majority
minority
public
school
senate
society
family

In the sentence below we are presented with the noun majority.

The majority of shareholders likely contains several shareholders; however, they are only spoken of as a group, not as individuals. There is no indication that the sentence is referring to the individuals within the majority – even
though it comprises several people, the majority acts as one – as a singular entity. Therefore majority requires a singular verb, wants.

Next, for the sake of contrast, let’s take a look at a collective noun that requires a plural verb:

Collective nouns are plural when the members of the collective body act as individuals.

The sentence above describes the fighting that occurs between the individual members of the team. Because team refers to several individual members in this case, it is a plural noun, and therefore requires the plural verb are as a result.

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