audience: singular or plural forms?

audience: singular or plural forms?

文章Kooper » 週日 6月 26, 2011 5:45 pm

My dear YOYO friends,

I have two questions:
In terms of the word "audience," when should I use a singular or a plural form? Here are sentences quoted from dictionaries.

1. There are more and more TV shows catering to young male audiences.
2. These advertisements are geared towards a younger audience.
3. Why do people take part in these shows and spill their guts on camera in front of a studio audience

I kind of understand that in the 3rd sentence, it is referring to the specific audience that are in that particular studio and that's why it is in a singular form.
Why do we use the plural form in the first sentence but the singular form in the 2nd?

As for the verb following the word "audience," should we use a plural or singular form? The Longman dictionary says that it should be followed by a plural verb, but the sentence below uses a singular verb.

The audience was selected to create a microcosm of American society.
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Re: audience: singular or plural forms?

文章Wayne » 週日 6月 26, 2011 8:22 pm

My two cents.

"Audience" refers to a multiple of people. In this sense, it is followed by a plural verb. Moreover, it can refer to a kind of group of people -- the focus is on a kind of group; it is followed by a singular verb. There can be more than one groups, say, a variety of groups, the plural form of the noun "audience", audiences.
As for in the first example, I think the male audiences may refer to different kinds of male groups of people.

Based on Longman English Grammar, "audience" functions as a collective noun. Like a few other collective nouns, such as class, committee, etc., it can be followed by a singular or plural verb. Some of the collective nouns can have a singular form or plural form., whereas a few other collective nouns, such as the public, the youth of today, etc., do not have a plural form.
最後由 Wayne 於 週一 6月 27, 2011 12:24 pm 編輯,總共編輯了 1 次。
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Re: audience: singular or plural forms?

文章joseph » 週一 6月 27, 2011 10:43 am

Whether you use the plural or singular form of "audience" is simply a matter of preference, like toward vs. towards. As to whether the verb following "audience" should be plural or singular, it should be singular. Although the word refers to more than one person, it's a singular word. You should use "The audience is" instead of "The audience are." The same rule goes for all group words, like "team" and "band." Hope this makes sense!

As for the second sentence is referring to one entire younger audience as a whole, thus it is singular. Much like a church congregation is made up of many people, but when referring to the whole unit, the singular form is used.

The first sentence is referring to multiple audiences, thus the plural form is used.
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