Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Collective NOUNS~

A collective noun is a noun that is singular in form but refers to a group of people or things.

Sometimes they refer to a group of specific things:-

These are the examples:-

Desks, chairs, cupboards etc. are grouped under the collective noun furniture. 
Plates, spoons, cups and bowls are grouped under the collective noun crockery.

These collective nouns are often uncountable.

Sometimes they are more general:-

These are the examples:-
Groups of people - soldier, viewer, band, choir, class, committee, crew, family, gang, jury, orchestra, police, staff, team, trio
Groups of animals - colony, flock, herd, pack, pod, school, swarm
Groups of things - bunch, bundle, clump, pair, set, stack

When such a group is considered as a single unit, the collective noun is used with a singular verb and singular pronouns.

For example - The committee has reached its decision.

But when the focus is on the individual members of the group, British English uses a plural verb and plural pronouns.

For example - "The committee have been arguing all morning." This is the same as saying "The people in the committe have been ...."

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