Collective Nouns

What are collective nouns and examples? What is the difference between common noun and collective noun? How to use collective nouns?

Collective Nouns


Introduction


1) A collective noun is used to refer to an entire group of people, animals, or things. Therefore it includes more than one member.

My family is very big.
2) Collective nouns can refer to:

a) people.

family, class, committee, staff etc.

b) animals.

a pack of dogs, a swarm of flies, a herd of horses, a litter of puppies etc.

c) things.
pack, set, bunch, stack etc.

When the members within one group behave in the same manner, they are part of a collective noun, thus this noun becomes singular and requires a singular verb.

Every day the football team follows its coach out to the field for practice.

When the members are acting as individuals, the collective noun is plural and requires a plural verb. In many cases, it may sound more natural to make the subject plural in form by adding words like members, mates etc.

After the practice, the team(mates) shower, change into their casual clothes, and head to their homes.

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