How to use the collective nouns

writer Sanjana

Do you have any idea what a collective noun is?

A collective noun makes reference to a group, even if a noun is singular.
Or
A subset of countable nouns that is written in a single unit such as 12 eggs in a dozen, 52 cards in a deck, etc.

We will discuss it further below to remove your confusion.
It is hard to use collective noun because you use a single word for many things such as “a pack of wolves” or “an army”. (These words are in singular form and mean a large group of things).

Let’s have a look at some examples to make you understand the usage of collective nouns.

1. An array of magazines

Magazines when collected together are referred to as array.
Example: the array of magazines is placed on the table.

2. A class of students

A group of students is often called as a class.
Example: a class of students contains 5 boys and 9 girls.

3. A family of trees

Family is a collective noun that is used for trees, plants, or human beings.
Example: a family of trees is found in the the North America.

4. A galaxy of stars

You may have seen the galaxy of stars at night in the sky.
Example: the galaxy of stars looked beautiful last night.

5. A pile of garbage

When garbage is collected, it becomes a pile.
Example: there has been a pile of garbage collected outside the house for two days.

Contexts and uses of collective nouns

When there is a collective noun in a sentence, we’ll use a singular verb.
Example: the furniture (collective noun) has (singular verb) been put into the living room.

When collective noun refers to a group of people, it is treated as plural.
Example: the people(collective noun) go (verb) to the office in the morning.

Sometimes, it can not be decided whether to use a singular verb or a plural verb in the sentence, then it depends on the user or writer to choose the helping verb himself.
Example: the committee is (singular verb) made.
The committee are (plural verb) made.

List of common collective nouns

  1. Herd– A group of animals
  2. Pack– A group of animals, playing cards, and packages
  3. Flock– A group of birds
  4. Swarm– A group of insects
  5. Shoal– A group of fish
  6. Crowd – A group of people
  7. Gang – A group of criminals
  8. Mob – A group of kangaroos
  9. Staff – A group of people who work in the same place
  10. Crew – A group of workers
  11. Choir – A large, organized group of singers
  12. Orchestra – A large, organized group of instrumentalists
  13. Panel – A group of experts
  14. Board – A group of professionals
  15. Troupe – A group of actors or acrobats
  16. Bunch – A group of small objects
  17. Pile – An untidy collection of rubbish
  18. Heap – A mounded collection of items
  19. Set – A tidy group of matched objects
  20. Stack – A group of items neatly laid one on top of another
  21. Series – Used to discuss movies, books, or events
  22. Shower – Used to describe rain
  23. Fall – Used to discuss weather

Collective nouns are important to describe objects because it represents a great connection to the language.

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