What Are collective Nouns? (with Examples)

A collective noun is the word used to represent a group of people, animals, or things. In the infographic below, the cumulative nouns are presented in yellow.

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Examples of collective Nouns

Here space some instances of collective nouns:FlockCrowdCommitteeChoirGroupTeam

More examples of cumulative Nouns

There room lots of collective nouns. Below are some instances of the most common ones for people, animals, and things.

Common cumulative Nouns provided for People

Here space some instances of common collective nouns provided for people:A tape of musiciansA board of directorsA choir of singersA class of studentsA crowd of peopleA gang of thievesA pack of thievesA dashboard of expertsA team the playersA troupe that dancers

Common cumulative Nouns supplied for Animals

Here space some instances of common collective nouns used for animals: An army of antsA flock of birdsA i m crying of sheepA herd of deerA hive the beesA litter that puppiesA killing of crowsA load of houndsA load of wolvesA school of fishA swarm that locustsA team the horsesA proud of lionsOf interest, cumulative nouns that define a certain group of animals are referred to as "terms the venery."

Common cumulative Nouns used for Things

Here are some instances of common collective nouns provided for things: A ostrich of flowersA bunch of flowersA fleet that shipsA woodland of treesA galaxy of starsA pack of cardsA fill of liesA pair the shoesA variety of mountainsA wad of notes

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Versatile collective Nouns

Some collective nouns are quite versatile. A pack
that thievesa pack of wolves a pack that cardsa pack of lies

Why should I Care about Collective Nouns?

By far the most usual question about collective nouns is whether to treat them together singular or plural. In other words, should you compose "the team is" or "the team are"? Well, both deserve to be right. You must treat a cumulative noun (shaded in the examples below) as singular or plural relying on the sense of her sentence.The shoal was moving north. The shoal were darting in every directions. (In the very first sentence, the shoal is taken into consideration as one unit. Therefore, "shoal" is treated together singular. However, in the second example, the shoal is considered as lots of individuals, and "shoal" is treated as plural.)The audience is happy. The audience are all wearing comedy wigs. (In the very first sentence "audience" is singular. In the second, it"s plural.)There is constantly an incredible crowd that follows me. In Rome, also the guys kiss me. (Boxer Muhammad Ali)I have actually played several of my ideal tennis away from home, yet it deserve to be difficult when the crowd are spitting ~ above you. (Australian tennis player Lleyton Hewitt)(In the first sentence, "crowd" is singular. In the second, it"s plural. Lleyton Hewitt would have instinctively favored "crowd are" over "crowd is" due to the fact that not every the individuals in the group would have been spitting in ~ him, compelling him to think the the crowd as many individuals.)As a basic rule, you must treat a cumulative noun together singular uneven you have a great reason for treating it together plural. If it feels a small uncomfortable dealing with a collective noun together singular or plural, include a term choose "members of" to force a many term.The members the the audience are happy. The members the the audience are all wearing comedy wigs. (There is no much longer a decision to make. The expression "members that the audience" is plural.)Once you"ve determined whether your collective noun is singular or plural, stay consistent throughout your sentence. The team is happy with their performance. (is = singular / your = plural)The team is happy through its performance. (is = singular / its = singular)While some collective nouns (e.g., "pack," "group") deserve to be provided with various things, most can"t. Because that example, you most likely shouldn"t say:a ostrich of wolves a swarm of lions a litter that ships hang on. Let"s look in ~ those again. The term "a swarm that lions" conjures photo of many lions in a frenzy, which would certainly be an effective and interesting means to explain that situation. Therefore, deliberately using the wrong collective noun could add a beneficial connotation. For example:a fill of ships(This gives the idea of ships searching like wolf or thieves. It bring pirates come mind.)a forest of soldiers(This provides the idea of hundreds of stationary soldiers was standing shoulder to shoulder.)A flock of guys is more easily pushed than a single one. (Economist Richard Whately)

Key Points

Treat a cumulative noun together singular unless the paper definition highlights the individuals in the group.The choir is out of tune.The choir were fainting as result of the heat.If you"re uncomfortable dealing with a collective noun as singular or plural, placed a term choose "members of" in former so the reads smoothly together a plural.The members of the choir were fainting due to the heat.Once you"ve made decision whether your collective noun is singular or plural, be continual throughout her sentence. The group is transforming its strategy.The team are an altering their shirts. Utilizing the "wrong" collective noun can be a useful creative-writing technique.a swarm the students
Ready because that the Test?Here is a confirmatory test for this lesson.This check can additionally be:Edited (i.e., you deserve to delete questions and also play through the order of the questions).Printed to create a handout.Sent electronically come friends or students.

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See Also

Take a test on collective nounsWhat are nouns?The different varieties of nounsWhat room pronouns?The different species of pronounsAbstract nounsCompound nounsConcrete nounsNon-countable nouns (mass nouns)Gender-specific nounsVerbal nounsGerundsNoun clausesNoun phrases

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