Subjects like "Group of people" and "Group of students" have always confused me when attempting Sentence Correction questions.

Did some search, and figured out some useful information. Sharing it with all and inviting your comments so that we can have further discussions on this.

Let us take an example

"The group of students is/are playing football."

Here "group" is a singular noun and "students" is a plural noun. So what form of verb should we use here. Singular 'is' or plural "are"?

Whether singular/plural verb needs to be used depends on the context of the statement. If the individual members of the group can be treated individually then plural form of the verb needs to be used and when individual memers of the group cannot be treated individually, and have to be considered collectively as a part of the group then singular form of the verb has to be used.

Correlating this with the previous example. Any student in this group cannot be playing football on his own, the game of football is played as one single group. So we cannot use the plural form of the verb here and we must use singular form of the verb. Right answer in this case would be

"The group of students is playing football."

Let us take another example
"The group of students was/were given candies."
In this case candies were given to the group so that the candies can be distributed among the individual members of the group. So in this case we can treat students of this group on an individual basis. Right answer in this case would be

"The group of students were given candies."

Please add on to this thread and share your opinion.