US Election Special and American and British English Group Nouns

Come join me and find out what a US political rally is like.

And the home of the brave. God bless you all.

This weekend I went to my first American political rally and I thought you might like to see it too.

Hello Simple English Videos!

Philadelphia! Are you ready to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine? We are. We are.

Hi! I’m so excited to be here tonight. This has been a very unusual election. And I think it’s pretty obvious that young people like all of you who I am seeing in front of us tonight… This election matters to everybody, but it matters more to you. Thank you so much.

Let’s look at some of the words we heard.

Philadelphia, are you ready to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine?

To elect is a verb – an action -and the event where people vote is an election.

This has been a very unusual election.

But there’s another word you might not know: the electorate. It’s all the people in a country who have the right to vote. I’m a British citizen and I can’t vote in the United States, so I’m not part of the group that can. I’m not a member of the electorate.
So electorate is group of people and in British English we can use it with a singular or plural verb form. But in American English it’s only used with a singular verb form. There are other nouns for groups where this happens as well. We can use singular or plural verb forms in British English but only singular ones in American English. So watch out for those.
The event we saw is called a rally and it was organized to boost or increase support for Hillary. Do people hold similar rallies in your country, or are they different? In the UK I think most rallies are organized to protest things rather than show support, and I don’t think people would be so excited. I think you wouldn’t see as many flags, as well. We’d love to know more about rallies where you are, so tell us in the comments.
And also, this election matters here, but do you think this American election could matter to you as well? Are you interested in the results and do you want Hillary to win?
Oooo. And one last thing. I wanted to say I’m sorry about the shaky camera work in the video of the rally. I took a tripod but security was very tight and the secret service stopped me from taking it in. OK. We’ll be back next week with a regular lesson. See you there!

Give me a thumbs up if you like it. Yeah!

To find out about a playlist of videos made by English teachers about the 2016 election, click here.

2 thoughts on “US Election Special and American and British English Group Nouns

  • October 31, 2016 at 5:56 am
    Permalink

    Perfect up-to-date materials for working on comprehension in conjunction with collective nouns. Will use it with my fifth year EAL student. Do you have a full catalogue of videos to dip into as the need may arise? Do you have a special plan for generating them or are they products of mere inspiration?

    Reply
    • November 2, 2016 at 1:38 pm
      Permalink

      The closest thing we have to a catalogue is this page https://www.simpleenglishvideos.com/videos/ Nail, and our YouTube channel page is also a good place to look.
      Up until now we have been shooting videos on a one-off ad hoc basis rather than planning them as a course. That has changed recently as we are creating a series of prefix and suffix posts that we’ll be adding to and we also have a beginners course in the works. We are also planning a grammar course butr that will probably need to be paid-for content.

      Reply

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