Collective Nouns

Collective Nouns

Collective Nouns:

Collective Nouns

Definition:

When a noun refers to the individuals or things as an undivided single unit, it is called a Collective Noun. 

 

Examples:

Class, crowd, bunch, team, flock, herd, army, group, staff, library, pack, nation, committee, etc.,

It is generally used for a group of people or things. Since the noun is considered a single unit, the verb we use must be singular.

 

Examples:

  • Physics class has been arranged for the students today.
  • Our school team is strong enough to face the opponents.
  • My family lives in a remote village.
  • The crowd has been dispersed by the police.

 

Collective nouns are the names given to a collection of persons, animals, or things, taken together, and spoken of as one whole.

  • A group of sheep is called – A FLOCK
  • A group of relatives is called – A FAMILY
  • A group of cricket players is called –  A TEAM
  • A group of houses is called – AN APARTMENT 
  • A group of fish is called – A CATCH
  • A collection of flowers is called – A BOUQUET
  • A collection of chairs is called – A STACK
  • A collection of goods is called – A CATALOGUE
  • A collection of lorries is called – A FLEET
  • A collection of pictures is called – A GALLERY
  • A collection of poems is called – AN ANTHOLOGY 
  • A collection tasks is called – AN AGENDA 
  • a flock of sheep
  • an army of soldiers
  • a family of relatives
  • a team of players
  • an apartment of houses
  • a catch of fish
  • a bouquet of flowers
  • a stack of chairs 
  • a catalogue of goods 
  • a fleet of lorries
  • a gallery of pictures
  • an anthology of poems
  • an agenda of tasks

 

To find more lists of collective nouns click the following links.

 

Collective Nouns – Singular or Plural

Some Collective Nouns can be used as singular or plural depending on whether it denotes individual members or a single unit. When a Collective Noun is used as a plural noun, the verb should also be plural. The plural use of Collective Nouns is also called Nouns of Multitude.

 

Few examples for such Collective Nouns:

class, club, committee, school, team, union, board of directors, company, Congress, orchestra, firm, Parliament, government, jury, Ministry, army, group, party, crowd, flock, generation, mob, staff, department, family etc.,

 

Example Sentences:

  • The company staff has attended social work activities. (staff is a single unit)
  • The company staff have attended social work activities. (staff denotes individual members)

 

  • The club has been formed recently. (club is a single unit)
  • The club are going to participate in the zonal meeting. (club denotes individual members)

 

Nouns of Multitude:

When a Collective Noun denotes individual members or things of the group, it is called a Noun of Multitude. Here Collective Noun is considered plural so the verb should also be plural.

 

Examples: 

Committee, team,  syndicate, faculty, audience, public, company, Congress, orchestra, firm, and Parliament, government, jury, Ministry, army, group, party, crowd, flock, generation, mob, staff, department, family, crew, clergy, herd, etc.,

 

Example Sentences:

  • The team were all given badges to wear at the event.
  • The committee were asked to submit their investigation report.
  • The police are interrogating the villagers about the recent incident.

 

 Collective Nouns and  Nouns of Multitude:

A Noun of Multitude is also a type of Collective Noun. A Collective Noun denotes an undivided single unit and a Noun of Multitude denotes individual members or things of the group.  

We use a singular verb with Collective Nouns, whereas a plural verb is used with Nouns of Multitude.

 

Examples for Collective Nouns:

In the following sentences, the nouns have been used as a single unit and the singular verb is used accordingly.

  • The family is going to attend the function today.
  • A jury has expressed its opinion. 
  • The audience is gathering slowly to attend the event.

 

Examples for Nouns of Multitude:

In the following sentences, the nouns have been used as individual members and the plural verb is used accordingly.

  • The family are going to attend the function today. 
  • The jury have expressed their opinions. 
  • The audience have gathered in huge numbers for this great event.

 

Exercise for practice:

Find out Collective Nouns from the following sentences.

  1. The board of directors is going to take a final decision on this issue
  2. My friend’s family maintains a bakery in the town. 
  3. This new company offered its staff extra bonus. 
  4. An army of ants attacked a bed of snakes. 
  5. They offered Suresh a bouquet of flowers.
  6. The candidate who gets the majority of votes will win.
  7. A swarm of wasps suddenly attacked a group of people.
  8. How beautiful it is to see a rabble of butterflies.
  9. In my friend’s home, there is a big library of books. 
  10. The present generation is incredibly genius.

 

Answers:

  1. board, 2. family, 3. company, staff, 4. army, bed, 5. bouquet, 6. majority, 7. swarm, group, 8. rabble, 9. library, 10. generation