Collective Nouns for intermediate learners

If we want to represent certain individual nouns as one entity we can make use of collective nouns. In this lesson, you'll learn about their structure and uses.

What are "Collective Nouns" in English Grammar?

What Are Collective Nouns?

Collective nouns refer to a group or collection of people or things as a single unit.

Common Collective Nouns

In the list below, you can see some examples of common collective nouns:

  • Band
  • Gang
  • Class
  • Crowd
  • Team
  • Panel
  • Pack
  • Herd
  • Bunch
  • Bouquet

Tip!

While most collective nouns refer to groups of people, some can also refer to animals or objects:

  • Animals: herd, flock, pack
  • Things: bunch, bouquet

Collective Nouns: Singular or Plural?

Whether a collective noun is considered singular or plural depends on the context, and how we perceive the individuals in the group.
If we are considering them as a single unit, the collective noun is singular and should be paired with singular verbs and singular pronouns

The family still has its farm in the countryside.

However, if we are thinking of the individuals as separate entities, the collective noun is plural and should be paired with plural verbs and pronouns. For example:

The team are all wearing different jerseys.

Tip!

In American English, collective nouns are typically paired with singular verbs, while in British English, they are often paired with plural verbs.

The police are coming. (BrE)

The police is coming. (AmE)

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Proper and Common Nouns

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Did you know there are two kinds of noun: common nouns and proper nouns. Common nouns refer to general nouns and proper nouns refer to specific nouns.

Singular and Plural Nouns

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Anything that is just one in quantity is singular. But what if there is more than one? Nouns that are two or more are called plurals! Simple, yes? Let's see!

Countable and Uncountable Nouns

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It's important to know if a noun is countable or uncountable. This is going to help us to use the correct article. Let's learn more.

Possessive Nouns

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Possessive structures have many functions like showing ownership or belonging. With the help of apostrophe 's', we can make a possessive noun. Let's start!

Gerunds

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Gerunds are words derived from verbs that act as nouns. All gerunds include a verb and -ing. In this lesson, we will learn more about them.

Abstract and Concrete Nouns

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Based on what we can or cannot perceive with our five senses, we can categorize nouns into two groups: abstract and common nouns. Start learning!
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