Collective Noun Singular or Plural? Definition and Example Sentences
Singular or Plural?
We should pay particular attention to verb conjugations when using collective nouns. Even native English speakers learn verb conjugations over time and with plenty of practice. For those who, like many people, learn English later, their native language usage habits can cause mistakes. Below you can find some general rules:
If the collective nouns refer to the entire group as a whole, then the verb is used in the singular. For example, a group of musicians playing instruments in the same band, or a class of students doing the same job.
- The class finished their exam at 9 p.m.
On the other hand, if we want to talk about individuals doing different things, we should use a plural verb. In the following example, all students work individually by writing a different article.
- The class was writing articles in the school with their teachers.
Some exceptions do not comply with this rule. For example, the following types of collective nouns always take the plural verb: Police, cattle, youth, and people.
- The police were very fast.
Uncountable nouns as they are known are used with the singular verb: Hair, accommodation, information, advice, luggage / luggage, rubbish, and macaroni.
- The macaroni was very good.
- Melissa’s hair is really shiny and beautiful.
After some collective nouns come the preposition” of ” and the name of the people, animals, plants, or objects they describe. What is unique here in English is the variety and sometimes surprising nature of these names. Some nouns can be used for people, as well as for animals, plants, or objects. For example:
- A band of men
- A band of teachers Bench
- A bench of students.
- A bench of players,
- A bench of doctors
- A company of lawyers
- A company of health
- A gang of soldiers
- A gang of children
- A team of footballers
- A colony of cats
- A colony of birds
- A colony of chicken
- A flock of horses