What perform we execute with this people?

Uh, oh. Did I simply make friend question just how you created that last email? Or did you just talk yourself right into a difference concerning magical staffs versus the staff of your office? It’s not that simple, folks.

You are watching: The staff are or the staff is

Here’s an example of a subject-verb pairing you can write reasonably frequently if you’re in the business world, and I’m i m really sorry to say the the “staff is” vs. “staff are” selection isn’t a matter of wizardry vs. Person resources—though, probably if girlfriend really gain into a conversation about jobs at the to adjust of Magic, it could get a tad an ext complicated.

You space correct that if you’re talking around wizardry and also warlocks, the correct intake would it is in “the staff is.” that’s the basic one. A staff, or a pole or rod that denotes government and/or offers support, is a singular object.

However, the more facility part the this conversation comes to your office staff. Okay, probably your office staff have the right to be complicated on multiple levels, however focusing in on her verb choice, you have to pay attention. The answer changes depending on her use.

“Staff” is a collective noun—others encompass “group,” “band,” “herd,” “array,” “board,” “panel,” and also “crowd.” prior to you run away native the jargon, every “collective noun” method is that every one of the parts within the cumulative sometimes action together and also sometimes plot individually.

The cheat to knowing the correct verb is understanding whether you talking around the totality or the different parts in ~ it.

For example:

The employee is all current for the workshop. (They room a group, and also their actions room being debated as one.)The staff room assembling parts of the presentation. (The staff members room undertaking various tasks in this example, while still working with each other as a whole.)The staff is volunteering in ~ a neighborhood soup kitchen. (Again, they are all law the exact same thing. And kudos for their ar involvement!)The employee are managing the food line, handing out utensils and also plates, serving the visitors, and also offering napkins. (The staff members each have actually their own tasks here again.)

Staff deserve to work as a singular noun or a many noun depending upon its usage. Your task is simply to readjust accordingly. Easy right?

Now if the staff has actually a magical staff, or if they each have their own staffs, things might start to get complicated, yet we’ll leave that grammatical equation to the fantasy-writing professionals.

Business communications are all about getting that right. It’s time to pay attention.

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