Collective Nouns: Meaning, Definition, Rules with Examples | ORCHIDS
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Nouns

Collective Nouns

Definition :

Nouns that name a collection of people, animals, or things are called collective nouns. Collective nouns are names given to a specific group.

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Examples Explanation :

The word ‘team’ in the above sentence means ‘a group of players’ who won the match this year. Similarly, the word ‘family’ means members of the family who live together. The word ‘bunch’ means a group of sticks that cannot be broken.


Examples:

  1. The team won the match this year.
  2. I live with my family.
  3. You can never break a bunch of sticks at once.
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More about Collective Nouns :

Collective Nouns can name an entire group of persons, animals, or things. A collective noun is used when referring to an entire group performing an action or a group showing the same quality.

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Examples:

  1. A gang of robbbers looted the house.
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  3. She got a bunch of grapes from her garden.
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Rules :

  1. When all the members of the group perform one activity or show one quality, then use a singular verb form after the collective noun.
  2. Example :

    ✅The football team participates in the state tournament.

    ❌The football team participate in the state tournament.

  3. Use the singular verb ‘is’ with a collective noun when a group is a singular unit.
  4. Example :

    ✅ A group is learning various dance forms.

    ❌A group are learning various dance forms.

  5. The sentences with singular nouns use the article ‘a’ before the noun.

  6. Example:

    A group is learning various dance forms.

  7. When all the members in the group perform different activities, then a plural noun is used with the collective noun.
  8. Example :

    ✅The actors of the play werepractising their lines.

    ❌The actors of the play was practising their lines.

  9. The pronoun ‘it’ is usually used to replace a collective noun, as it represents a singular unit.
  10. Example :

    ✅ The bouquet of flowers is beautiful, even though it was not fresh.

    ❌The bouquet of flowers is beautiful, even though they are not fresh.

Common Mistakes:

  1. Plural nouns for a group of animals cannot be used as collective nouns for animals. The collective nouns given to groups of animals are unique to each class of animals.
  2. Examples :

    • Bees: a swarm
    • Elephants: a parade
    • Fish: a school

  3. Do not confuse plural nouns with collective nouns. A plural noun is a word in the plural form which indicates more than one of that particular noun. A collective noun is a word in the singular form which represents a group of people, objects or animals.
  4. Examples:

    • The pack of wolves went on a hunt. (Collective nouns)
    • The wolves went on a hunt. (Plural nouns)

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