[Ads-l] The United States Is/Are

Beth Young zbyoung at GMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 10 20:59:05 UTC 2016

It's not a perfect answer, but you can get at this question with the google
books ngram viewer: https://goo.gl/ZXQLy0 (This is one of the searches Ben
Zimmer talks about here:


On Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 4:27 PM, Bill Mullins <amcombill at hotmail.com> wrote:

> I've heard many times that before the Civil War, the usual phrase was "the
> United States are", and after, it was "the United States is".  The United
> States went from a plural noun to a singular one.
> Does anyone know where this originated?  Have any of you tried to prove or
> disprove it?  (Too many databases ignore "is" and "are" to make it easy to
> check.)
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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