10.2.1. Singular or plural agreement?
Collective nouns take the singular when the emphasis is on the whole entity:
The government is considering the matter.
The Commission was not informed.
Use the plural when the emphasis is on individual members:
The police have failed to trace the goods.
A majority of the committee were in favour.
Sums of money can take a singular or plural verb:
EUR 2 million were/was made available.
Percentages and fractions of countable nouns take a plural verb:
Three quarters of the flowers were used.
75 % of the flowers were used.
but uncountable nouns take a singular verb:
Three quarters of the flour was used.
75 % of the flour was used.
Countries and organisations with a plural name take the singular:
The Netherlands is reconsidering its position.
The United Nations was unable to reach agreement.
Words ending in -ics are singular when used to denote a scientific discipline or body of knowledge (mathematics, statistics, economics) but plural in all other contexts.
Economics is commonly regarded as a soft science.
The economics of the new process were studied in depth.
Data can be used as a plural or a singular noun.
Multiple subject. Use a singular verb when a multiple subject clearly forms a whole:
Checking and stamping the forms is the job of the customs authorities.
10.2.2. Tenses of minutes and summary records
Dutch spokesman: ‘We are concerned by the number of exceptions which have been included.’
The Dutch delegation was concerned by the number of exceptions that had been included.