Collective nouns refer to numbers of people, animals or items. Did you know that collective nouns are never plural? It's a handy bit of knowledge for your back pocket!
Is a handful of coins singular or plural? Would it be correct to say "The handful of coins fall into the dust" or "The handful of coins falls into the dust"? If you've completed the first quiz on collective nouns, you will already know the answer. Collective nouns are singular. Although "coins" are clearly plural, "the handful of coins" refers to ONE handful and is therefore singular, no matter how many coins it holds.Just as it is correct, although somewhat odd-sounding, to say "the handful falls into the dust", it is correct to say "the handful of coins falls into the dust".
Sometimes when you are writing in a hurry, it is easy to make mistakes with collective nouns. While you would never write "the collection are in the museum", you might easily write "the collection of masks are in the museum" because it sounds right to say "masks are...". Nevertheless, remember that the verb must agree with the collective noun ("collection"), thus: "The collection of masks is in the museum" would be correct.
If you enjoyed the first quiz on collective nouns, you may like to see how well you do in this, the second quiz!