Please tell me if the following usage is correct:
1. The group of companies is ( not "are") .......
2. A group of companies are......
3. The audience is.......
4. The audiences are......
Actually, this is not a question that can be answered based on the information above. Strictly speaking, many "group" nouns can be considered either plural or singular depending on whether the action applied is one of the group "as a single entity" or as individual members of the group.
The audience is large.
The audience are being seated by an usher as they enter the arena.
The committee is convening at noon.
The committee are discussing the merits of the proposal.
The majority of the Senate is weak.
The majority of the senators are in for a fight this November.
The group of companies is diverse.
The selected group of companies are at risk of becoming insolvent.
Having said that, I do not recall the GMAT ever testing the plural usage of a group noun or pronoun.
Former Senior Instructor, Manhattan GMAT and VeritasPrep
Vice President, Midtown NYC Investment Bank, Structured Finance IT
MFE, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Class of 2005
MBA, Anderson School of Management, UCLA, Class of 1993