What is the right sentence: The entire class has received the book or The entire class have received the book?
You may use both plural and singular verbs with words that refer to a group or its members, for example, a family. (a family is made up of its members: mother, father, children, grandparents etc.)
When you think of a family as one single unit, use singular verbs:
- My family is from Italy.
- An average family has two children in my country.
When you think of a family as a collection of individuals, use plural verbs:
- My family have decided to move back to Italy. (Everybody has taken part in this decision.)
- My family are wonderful. (Each and every person in my family is wonderful.)
CLASS is also a group of people, so it may be followed by both singular and plural verbs:
- The class was dismissed. (Think of class as a unit.)
- The class have a test tomorrow. (Think of every student.)
Your example ‘the entire class has/have received the book’ sounds strange, because it is about one specific book. I think what you mean is:
- The entire class have received books. (Every student got a book.)
Some similar words are: team, firm, club, orchestra, government, jury, choir, staff