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THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE: COLLECTIVE NOUNS

Collective nouns can be either singular or plural !

Collective nouns are singular in form, but they name a group of persons or things.

group committee club family
flock herd swarm public
jury army audience assembly
class team faculty fleet
Collective nouns are used with plural verbs when the speaker or writer is referring to the individual parts or members of the group acting separately. They are used with singular verbs when the statement refers to the group acting together as a unit.

Examples:
The jury was ready to announce its decision. (Jury is thought of as a unit)
The jury were arguing among themselves. (Jury is thought of as individuals)

Be sure that any pronoun referring to the collective noun has the same number as the noun (its in the first example above, themselves in the second)

Exercise:
Select five collective nouns and write five pairs of sentences showing clearly how the nouns you choose may be either singular or plural.
Example 1:
The class has elected its officers.
The class have finished their projects.




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