Collective Nouns – Practical and Whimsical
Collective nouns are words for a group of people, animals or things. Some are familiar and we use them regularly. They’re practical and useful. Family, team, and bunch are a few examples.
Some collective nouns are rarely used and mostly for the amusement of word enthusiasts. Word games and puzzles are where you’ll usually find a clowder of cats, a piddle of puppies and a glory of unicorns.
You can find a list of collective nouns in alphabetical order in the Wiktionary Glossary of collective nouns by collective term.
Verbs for Collective Nouns
When the subject of a sentence is singular, the verb is singular. When the subject of a sentence is plural, the verb is plural.
With collective nouns, it can be tricky. Some collective nouns are always singular and some are always plural. But, sometimes a singular collective noun expresses a plural idea and needs a plural verb. This can happen when all the members of a collective noun are acting as individuals and the group is not acting as a unit.
For a concise guideline with examples, read verb agreement with collective nouns from TERMIUM Plus.
Collective Nouns Quizzes
How about do you know about collective nouns? Try the following quizzes.
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