When is it OK to use doesn't v.s. don't?

Today on the radio,I and a friend heard the reporter say, "the crowd don't usually..." I said with words like "crowd" "don't" may be OK-because the word crowd is already plural like the word "people" therefore, this may be an acceptable way of using the word "don't" but I'd prefer using the word doesn't. My friend said, the word "don't" should not have been used with the word crowd. Wondering if any English scholars can help with this?

2 Answers

  • Mary C
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Great question!

    "Collective" nouns like crowd, flock, family are considered to be 'singular' and would take the singular form of the verb.

    "The crowd doesn't usually root for our team." "The flock doesn't fly away." "My family doesn't like to go to movies."

    People is the plural of person and uses the plural form of the verb. "People don't like to be interrupted."

    Sometimes, it is just what sounds right. "The crowd don't usually.." does not sound right. That is because crowd is singular. There is only ONE crowd (singular) although it is made of many people (plural.)

    The reporter was incorrect and should know better!

  • ?
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    It's not correct to conjugate "crowd" using the plural. The radio announcer made a mistake. "Crowd" is a collective, like "group", and you would say, "the group doesn't like to meet on Saturdays".

    I found an example from an on line dictionary to prove my point:


    "1. multitude, mass, assembly, throng, company, press, army, host, pack, mob, flock, herd, swarm, horde, rabble, concourse, bevy It took some two hours before the crowd was fully dispersed."

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