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Nouns (Collective) 02
Both 'family' and 'colony' are collective nouns in 'Our family saw a colony of penguins'.

Nouns (Collective) 02

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!

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1.
Find the collective noun in the following sentence.
A flotilla of dinghies sailed on the calm sea.
dinghies
flotilla
sailed
sea
A "flotilla" is a fleet or group of boats, making the word an example of a collective noun
2.
Find the collective noun in the following sentence.
The aid committee appealed for a team of volunteers.
aid, committee
aid, volunteers
committee, appealed
committee, team
Both "committee" and "team" are groups
3.
Find the collective noun in the following sentence.
The Roman officer commanded a legion of soldiers.
legion
officer
Roman
soldiers
A legion was a large group of soldiers, which makes the word a collective noun
4.
Find the collective noun in the following sentence.
The family watched the migrating flocks fly overhead.
family, overhead
family, flocks
migrating, flocks
watched, overhead
"Family" and "flock" are both groups, making them both collective nouns
5.
Find the collective noun in the following sentence.
The gathering enjoyed the festival music.
enjoyed
festival
gathering
music
A "gathering" is made up of many people or things, making it collective
6.
Find the collective noun in the following sentence.
The participants gave talks to the assembled groups.
groups
participants
assembled
talks
"Groups" is, of course, collective!
7.
Find the collective noun in the following sentence.
The Bournemouth conference attracted a huge crowd.
Bournemouth, conference
Bournemouth, crowd
conference, attracted
conference, crowd
Both "conference" and "crowd" are groups
8.
Find the collective noun in the following sentence.
The football team thanked the audience.
football, team
team, audience
team, thanked
thanked, audience
"Team" and "audience" are both groups, which means they are collective nouns
9.
Find the collective noun in the following sentence.
The congress debated new rules and suggestions.
congress
debated
rules
suggestions
A "congress" is a formal assembly of people
10.
Find the collective noun in the following sentence.
The congregation greeted the bride and bridegroom.
bride
bridegroom
congregation
greeted
A "congregation" is a group of people

 

Author:  Sue Daish

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