The use of a singular or plural verb with the pronoun "all"

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We need to be sure that all certified personnel is accounted for.

Is the usage correct in this sentence? It doesn't sound right.

asked Mar 08 '13 at 14:17 Sandra Buford New member

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This is a great question.  According to dictionary.com, personnel is singular when it refers to "a body of persons employed in an organization or place of work" but plural when it refers to "persons".  Accordingly, when used with all, personnel would always be plural.

 

There is a usage note at the end of the dictionary entry: " Some usage guides object to the use of personnel  as a plural. However, this use is well established and standard in all varieties of speech and writing".

 

I hope this helps.

link comment answered Mar 08 '13 at 15:01 Shawn Mooney Expert

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