I would like to know when to use have and has in a sentence talking about a country


Jamaica has or have snakes? Which is correct? Explain

Tashania Reid

Posted 2018-06-19T22:24:23.200

Reputation: 1

Can you be more specific about what you find confusing about this? – Catija – 2018-06-19T22:27:44.847

1Jamaica is a country and a singular noun, which means a singular verb shall be used after it (like in "Japan has four distinct seasons" or "America's got talent" ("has got" but not "have got"). – Enguroo – 2018-06-19T23:26:43.357



Normally, the verb agrees with the subject in number, so

This region has snakes.

Those regions have snakes.

Countries are normally singular:

Jamaica has snakes.

even if grammatically they look plural:

The Seychelles has snakes.

The United States has snakes.

What might be confusing you is that collective nouns (nouns denoting a collection of people) sometimes take a plural verb when the sense is that your are talking about what the people do or are, rather than what the group as a whole is:

Manchester United has/have scored a goal.

The committee is/are worried.

And this can even apply to names of countries when it means a the national team in some competition:

Jamaica has/have scored a goal.

Using plural in these cases is more common in British than American English.

Colin Fine

Posted 2018-06-19T22:24:23.200

Reputation: 47 277