What are Collective Nouns? (with examples) | Best Guide 2022

What are Collective Nouns?

Collective Nouns are the type of nouns which refers to a group (collection) of people, animals, things, places, etc.

For example team, audience, society, family, crowd, crew, police, army, committee, etc. These are not individuals but they are the collection/set of individuals.

Also Read: Noun Definition and Examples | Best English Guide 2021

More Examples of Collective Nouns

Group/Collection Meaning
TeamA group of players
ArmyA group of Soldiers
LibraryA large collection of books
CrowdA group of people
PackA set of cards
StaffA group of employees
ClassA group of students
BandA group of musicians
BundleA small set of books
ZooA Collection of animals
BasketA collection of fruits
PatrolA group of policemen
BunchA set of keys
GroupA group/collection of Islands

Common Collective Nouns for People

The below table gives the names of the groups of people with different categories.

Group/CollectionMeaningExample
boardA group of official peopleA board of directors
gangA group of peopleA gang of thieves
crewA group of sailorsA crew of sailors
choirA group of singersA choir of singers
armyA group of soldiersThe army of soldiers
firmA group of lawersA firm of lawyers
familyA group of relativesA family of relatives

Common Collective Nouns for Animals

Let us consider the most commonly used Collective Nouns for animals.

Group NameMeaning
School (or) ShoalA group of fish
BikeA group of bees
Herd (or) FlockA group of sheeps
HerdA group of elephants
PrideA group of lions
StreakA group of tigers
SlothA group of bears

Common Collective Nouns for things

Now let us see how the things are named to their groups.

Group NameMeaning
bundleA set of files, books, etc
pairA set of socks, shoes, etc
lineA group of cars
ringA set of keys
networkA collection of computers

Rules of Collective Noun (on how to use it?)

Let us consider the word “Library” which is usually a large collection of books (as shown above). Now this word can be used in two types, ie. Singular Collective Noun and Plural Collective Noun.

Example Statements:

  • Singular Collective Noun: Yesterday, I went to the nearest library to read one of my favourite series of Harry Potter.
  • Plural Collective Noun: Usually few libraries in my area remains closed on every Saturdays.

When Singular Collective Noun is used in the sentence or paragraph, then you need to use the words which only shows the reference to the individuals (like people, thing, etc).

For example: Yesterday, I went to the nearest library to read one of my favourite series. So, I read a book from the series of Harry Potter.

Here, you can observe that “a book” is used and it is referring to the library (a collection of books).

Quiz Time! (Test your knowledge here)

#1. Collective Nouns refer to a _______ of people, animal, etc.

Answer: Collective Nouns refer to a group of people, animal, etc.

#2. Is society a Collective Noun?

Answer: Yes

#3. Can you give me a pack of cards? Identify the Collective Noun.

Answer: Here, “pack” is the Collective Noun.

#4. The Police has chased down the thief.

Answer: Police

#5. The whole family celebrated the festival together. Identify the Collective Noun.

Answer: family

#6. A _______ of books has been recycled. Identify the correct option.

Answer: A bundle of books have been recycled.

#7. The company is usually controlled by the ______ of directors.

Answer: The company is usually controlled by the board of directors.

#8. I want to buy a ____ of socks. Choose an appropriate word.

Answer: I want to buy a pair of socks.

#9. The team has won by 10 points. Identify the Collective Noun.

Answer: Here “team” is the Collective Noun.

#10. I need to sign a _______ of papers.

Answer: I need to sign a bunch of papers.

Finish

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Summary: (What are Collective Nouns?)

What are Collective Nouns?
(What are Collective Nouns?)
  • Collective nouns usually refer to a group of people, things, animals, etc. The names are given to the groups so that it can identify the common group(set or collection) of the individual.
  • For example team, audience, society, family, crowd, crew, police, etc.
  • These Nouns can be used as Singular Collective Noun and Plural Collective Noun.

Also Read: Noun Definition and Examples | Best English Guide 2021

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