Crowd means a large number of persons gathered together, however I've found some examples in which this expression is used "a large group of crowd".

In the future, these flying drones may be seen inspecting pipes or flying over a large group of crowds, streaming images. A Dragonfly Robot Taking Off


It's very rare to see large group of crowds congregating in one place in Seattle, the Folklife Festival is one exception.

It seems such usages are redundant, such as "large group of groups". My question: is this grammatically correct to use such expression?

  • 2
    You're mis-parsing the sentence. It's not (a large group of crowd)(investors), it's (a large group of)(crowd-investors). Look into crowdfunding.
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 29, 2015 at 13:44
  • For the new example: think of a large music festival, with several stages, an area for vendors, another for port-a-potties. Imagine yourself flying over it like a drone would. What would you see? A crowd around the first stage, a crowd around the second stage, another bunched up near the food vendors, and another one urgently pressing towards those bathrooms. Other, relevant examples include riots and war-zones. So you have a large group of crowds: so long as each crowd or pack is distinct, you can and do have groups of them. So yes, it's grammatically and logically perfectly fine.
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 29, 2015 at 13:51
  • Hey look! I commented about a music festival and then you posted an example about a music festival! Bingo!
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 29, 2015 at 13:52
  • The music festival example is a good one. Too bad about the comma. Sep 5, 2015 at 15:41

2 Answers 2


Following the link and looking at the text preceding the first sentence, it soon becomes clear that the article was written by a non-native speaker of English. I would say that it's an error and perhaps reflects some idiom in the writer's own language.

I couldn't access the original text for the second quote for some reason. I would say that it may be a mistake but there is a possibility that it is intentional.

For example, at the Folklife Festival it is possible that each different attraction brings a crowd that is separated from other crowds. In that case the phrase would be acceptable but unusual.

Edit - I see that Dan Bron has given the same explanation as me with respect to the second point.

  • 1
    Ah, a down-vote with no explanation. I wonder which part of my answer they think is incorrect. Aug 29, 2015 at 14:03
  • The dragonfly robot company is based in Finland. Their English is a lot better than my Finnish, but I agree "flying over a large group of crowds" on their website doesn't have any context to explain it. "Flying over a large crowd" or "flying over a large group of people" seem more idiomatic. There are other minor errors and idiosyncrasies on the web page, e.g. "when plugged on a battery", "obstalces", "onits" (for "on its"), and "amusement toys".
    – alephzero
    Aug 29, 2015 at 20:10
  • 1
    @chaslyfromUK Hit with a DBDV, were you? Here, let me fix that for you.
    – deadrat
    Sep 2, 2015 at 3:09

I agree with you that the phrase seems redundant but technically, it is grammatically correct.

A large group of crowds

A large group of [plural-noun]

A large group of marbles

A large group of buildings

A large group of trees

A large group of sheep

As you can see, any plural noun is acceptable instead of crowds. Since crowds is also a plural noun it is also grammatically correct. It is possible to make completely nonsensical phrases that are grammatically correct and this particular phrase, I think, makes less sense than intended.

For what it's worth, I don't think I would ever use that particular phrase myself. If I was describing several distinct crowds congregating close to each other without merging into a single crowd I would find some other way of expressing it.

  • I disagree. Crowd is in uncountable noun, like swarm. No matter how many individual parts make it up, there is still only one crowd. If three separate crowds start at different locations and all end up in the same place, there is only one ultimate crowd. Sep 2, 2015 at 3:40
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    @SomethingDark What if you have a global event where people are protesting in multiple cities at the same time? Do you have a single, dispersed crowd or multiple crowds, one in each city?
    – CJ Dennis
    Sep 2, 2015 at 3:44
  • I would argue that there are multiple crowds since they aren't all in the same place. Sep 2, 2015 at 3:50
  • @SomethingDark So you are not saying that crowd is an uncountable noun because you have used crowds in both your comments. Did you mean that crowd is a collective noun? Because that is different and can certainly be counted, as you yourself have demonstrated.
    – CJ Dennis
    Sep 2, 2015 at 3:52
  • 1
    My goodness, it's late over here. I did, indeed, mean to refer to a crowd as a collective noun. You are correct. Sep 2, 2015 at 3:54

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