As we have learnt from the previous quizzes, nouns play an important role in understanding English and they come in different types. Nouns are very important for anyone who wants to learn English. Nouns are one of the eight parts of speech that constitute the English language. We have learnt that nouns can be classified into many types such as common nouns, compound nouns, abstract nouns and concrete nouns. In this quiz we take a look at another type of noun known as the collective noun.
As the name suggests, a collective noun is a word that describes a group of things, places, objects, people or animals. For example, we can describe bananas as a BUNCH of bananas; describe thugs as a GANG of thugs; describe actors as a CAST of actors; describe cards as a PACK of cards and describe cricketers as a TEAM or SQUAD of cricketers. All the words in capitals are known as collective nouns as they describe a group.
These collective nouns are applicable to several groups of people or objects. For instance, TEAM and SQUAD are applicable not only to cricketers but also to footballers, hockey players or any group of players in any sport. They may also apply to say, a police force or a fire force. However, when it comes to animals, birds and species other than humans, the English language is very inventive and it provides special collective nouns for various groups of different animals.
You have heard of the expression 'a SWARM of bees.' Here SWARM, attributed specifically to bees, is a collective noun. Another example is a SHOAL of fish. This collective noun is only used for fish and incidentally we have another collective noun, SCHOOL, for describing a group of fish. These words are rarely used for other animals. The quiz that follows takes you through some interesting collective nouns for a variety of animals.