Collective Nouns

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What Are Collective Nouns? (with Examples)

A collective noun is the word used to represent a group of people, animals, or things.

Examples of Collective Nouns

Here are some examples of collective nouns: There are lots of collective nouns. Below are some examples of the most common ones.

Common Collective Nouns Used for People

Here are some examples of common collective nouns used for people:

Common Collective Nouns Used for Animals

Here are some examples of common collective nouns used for animals:

Common Collective Nouns Used for Things

Here are some examples of common collective nouns used for things:

A Quick Test


You can treat a collective noun as singular or plural depending on the sense of your sentence. For example: Be aware that lots of your grammar-savvy readers will expect you to treat a collective noun as singular unless you have a good reason for treating it as plural.

To avoid confusion, add a word to denote the members of the group: When treating a collective noun as singular, be consistent. For example: .

TERMS OF VENERY

Words used to describe a specific group of things (usually animals) are called terms of venery. They are also collective nouns. Examples: USING THE WRONG COLLECTIVE NOUN: A USEFUL LITERARY TECHNIQUE

Some collective nouns are quite versatile. For example, you can say: The most versatile collective noun is group. It can be used with lots of things. However, most collective nouns cannot be shared. For example, you shouldn't say: However, deliberately using the wrong collective noun could present a useful connotation. For example: Therefore, using the "wrong" collective noun can be a useful technique in creative writing.


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See Also

What are nouns? What are pronouns? Abstract nouns Compound nouns Concrete nouns Non-countable nouns (mass nouns) Gender-specific nouns Verbal nouns Gerunds Noun clauses Noun phrases