Collective Nouns with Examples (Grammar lessons)


What are Collective Nouns?

Collective nouns are words for groups of people, animals, or things that are similar to one another and are spoken of as one whole.
Here are some examples of collective nouns:
Library = a collection of books
Herd = a group of animals
Crowd = a collection of people
Galaxy = a collection of stars
School = a group of fish


Here is a list of collective nouns that are used for groups of people, animals, or things.
a band of musicians
brood of chickens
school of fish
team of players
flight of steps
bunch of keys
class of pupils
collection of books
deck of cards
fleet of ships
flock of sheep
gaggle of geese
gang of robbers
herd of cattle
litter of cubs
pod of whales
pack of wolves
set of stamps
a pride of lions
a swarm of bees
troupe of actors
pack of coyotes

Singular and Plural Collective Nouns
Collective nouns are singular when we think of them as a single group and plural when we think of the collection of people acting as individuals within the group.
Look at the following examples of singular and plural collective nouns. 

If we are talking about eggs, we could say,
  • A dozen is probably not enough.
But if we are partying with our friends, we could say
  • A dozen are coming over this afternoon.

Many collective nouns can be used with a singular or plural verb
  • My family was happy to see me.
  • My family were happy to see me.

Here are some more examples of collective nouns in sentences.

  • The jury found the prisoner innocent.
  • Our class consists of fifteen pupils.
  • We saw a herd of cattle walking past the street.
  • The army marched into the battlefield.

I hope this explanation will help you to understand collective nouns better.
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