Questions tagged [collective-nouns]

Questions or inquiries relating to nouns that refer to a group as a whole.

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Can “niche” be used as a collective noun?

I know people can use language however they want, but I recently heard someone claim that “niche of people” was a phrase. I had not heard it before and disagreed that it was a phrase people used. The ...
John Montgomery's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
41 views

Collective nouns - singular or plural in context? [duplicate]

It seems correct to write "A host of tools exists..." or "A range of tools exists...", i.e. the verb reflects the fact that you are referring to one collective noun. But, if I want ...
co323's user avatar
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What’s special about the word “fish” [duplicate]

When there are two or more carps, you can say “there are fish”, treating singular form of fish without plural suffix “s” as a plural, but I think normally it doesn’t apply to other nouns, is that ...
Kmd's user avatar
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What is the name for a group of words that share antonyms but do not necessarily equate?

An example of this would be the concepts of humility and shame, which are both antonyms of pride, but are not synonyms or necessarily the same. What is the word that describes words that have this ...
Alton H.'s user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

Does the collective noun "parliament of owls" originate in "parliament of fowls"?

Chaucer wrote a 700-line poem called The Parlement of Foules about an assembly of birds. Is there any evidence that this is the origin of the usage "parliament of owls" as a collective noun, ...
poc's user avatar
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2 answers
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Refer To When Defining Plural Terms

I’m trying to figure out the reasoning for why “refers to” is always singular when using it to describe a term. Is this not always the case? If not, please provide an example. If yes, is the word “the ...
Grammygrammar 's user avatar
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1 answer
56 views

Is it possible to take a whole for some collective unit words with a verb agreement in the singular form? [duplicate]

At the beginning of English learning, a simple sentence looks like this below: There is a group of students singing and dancing.... However if it's changed to: A group of students are singing and ...
Beginner's user avatar
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What is the more precise name for the noun-phrase 'The Native' / 'The American'? [duplicate]

Been having a nightmare with this: in a phrase such as 'The native knows all this, and laughs to himself every time he spots an allusion to the animal world in the other's words' (Franz Fanon), or '...
LPEnglish's user avatar
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3 answers
127 views

Should "each" always be paired with a singular verb, even when a 'singular noun' and [each + partitive] are paired?

I know that normally singular verbs are to be used with "each", but what if an individual and 'each' + a partitive involving a collective noun, such as "family", is spoken of, and &...
B. Clay Shannon-B. Crow Raven's user avatar
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11 views

Subject-verb agreement with implied subject [duplicate]

tl;dr Which is the appropriate verb in the following sentence? Apparently, 2,000 steps [is/are] hazardous to my sleep. I use a sleep app that calculates a (dubious) sleep quality value and tracks ...
dx_over_dt's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
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What is the collective noun for arrows in motion?

I've tried to look for a collective noun for arrows that are in motion and most internet results suggest a quiver of arrows and a sheaf of arrows. However, a quiver is a container that holds arrows ...
PodGen4's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is it allowed to use "Olympic Games" like a countable noun? [closed]

I heard 'Olympic Games' is a collective noun, so it is uncountable. When I'd like to refer to the Olympic Games held in particular year(s), can I treat it like a countable (and/or singular) noun? ...
Thunderweb's user avatar
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17 views

Is a brand singular or plural? [duplicate]

Collective nouns are so confusing. I saw a grammar tip that says using singular form for a company, but I have a tendency to make it plural. 1: The technology of Nike is extremely amazing. And it is ...
Narae Kim's user avatar
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1 answer
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Does adding "all" in front of a singular collective noun like "staff" make it plural?

I know that "staff" is a singular collective noun. One of my clients is using the sentence, "All staff are responsible for exercising good judgment." I have edited this as ...
Mari's user avatar
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About collective nouns

A family lives in Yorkshire, and the family are eating lunch. Can I say that a family [who are] eating lunch lives in Yorkshire? I want to unite a plural verb and a singular verb in one clause. But I ...
user284747's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
183 views

Is 'The band of pipers is playing' correct? [duplicate]

At the risk of asking a duplicate question, I was helping my little one read a school book that had the following line, The band of pipers is playing in the background. Because the collective noun ...
insomniac's user avatar
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2 answers
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Suitable term for a group of missions

I'm designing a computer application for a client, and I'm looking for a good term to describe a group of missions. I have, at the moment, a single mission containing a series of well-defined steps, ...
paxdiablo's user avatar
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What kind of noun is the word 'Luggage'?

I was wondering what kind of noun is the word 'luggage'? I understand that it can neither be a proper noun nor a material noun. I also understand that it is an uncountable noun. But I'm rather ...
Ashutosh's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
3k views

Staff vs. staffs [duplicate]

In an article I am reading from Bloomberg Businessweek, there is a use of "staffs". I thought staff is a collective noun and has no plural. The full sentence reads Companies such as Uber ...
ALife's user avatar
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1 answer
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What is the collective noun for a group of magpies? [closed]

I have searched for this and found no definitive answer or answers. This website says it is a parliament, where as this one lists several others (conventicle, gulp, mischief, tidings or tittering) and ...
Matthew Wilson's user avatar
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0 answers
533 views

Population Percentage Singular/Plural Verb

Sixty-seven percent of the United States' population plays video games. Sixty-seven percent of the United States' population play video games. Which of these is correct? I understand that I can write &...
The Matrix's user avatar
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0 answers
72 views

Collective term for those to which something applies

If I have a certain 'condition', and that condition applies to a given grouping of people, is there a collective term to describe that group? For example, I would say "These are the people to ...
Eamonn's user avatar
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0 answers
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What is a word that describes the environmental products of human activity?

My business is inventing and producing more sustainable solutions for the use of energy, water, food and materials, that are consumed in the course of living and working in domestic, commercial and ...
Fyll See's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
358 views

What is the collective term for policy, standard and guideline?

I know they are distinct, but if wanted to refer to them as a single entity in the distance how would I do that?
user2216629's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
941 views

Definite Article and no Article with Animal Groups

I've encountered two sentences: — Dogs make good family pets. and The main source of food for the Hippo is the short grass. My question is: Why do we use the plural form of 'dogs' with no ...
Stacy's user avatar
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0 answers
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Do you find "only belongings of somebody" a little bit wierd?

In the sentence below, do you think it is weird to say "only belongings" for "belongings" is a collective noun. The angry mob destroyed the man's only belongings.
John Z. Li's user avatar
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90 views

Why were lions singled out to form "prides"?

Most of the time, the collective noun for a group of animals is fairly mundane and not specialized to the animal, at least in the scientific literature. Most pack hunters form packs. Most herd ...
No Name's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
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What is the collective noun for a group of giraffes?

My son's primary school teacher has written A kaleidoscope of giraffes But elsewhere I see a tower of giraffes. And yet elsewhere again I see journey and few others.
Stew-au's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
174 views

In the following sentence, shouldn't "family" take its plural form?

Here is an excerpt from IELTS OG.: For example, when my cousins were backpacking around the world, they were able to reassure their family and friends that.... I find the use of family in its ...
jxhyc's user avatar
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“is” vs. “are” in a question involving a collective noun [duplicate]

Is it “What tools is your team using for collaboration?” or “What tools are your team using for collaboration?”? My normal tactic would be to rephrase the question as a statement and consider “Your ...
Pygmalion's user avatar
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1 answer
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About collective noun

Information, crockery, stationery, luggage are nouns that refers to combination of heterogenous items. Herd, flock, album, refers to collective nouns with homogenous items. What is the difference ...
user372766's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

If you have a collection of something, is the something writen in plural? [closed]

A collection like in: A list of users A group of cities When attaching this as we do in software development to name variables, should it be named userList vs usersList cityGroup vs citiesGroup ...
luso's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
346 views

Proper conjugation when using "trio" [duplicate]

I have a question regarding word usage when using "trio" in a sentence. Here's an example sentence: The trio tries to find the way but appear to be lost. Should "tries" be in the third person, ...
Simon B's user avatar
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2 answers
69 views

Animateness-neutral "its"

The House of Representatives shall chuse their [modernly, its] Speaker. U.S. Const. art. I, § 2 Wouldn't the use of its here be "animateness-neutral", so to speak, as opposed to their?
GJC's user avatar
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1 vote
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289 views

Why is it a “garland of sonnets”? [closed]

William Shakespeare is famous for his ________ of sonnets. A) garland B) collection C) anthology D) couplets My future and life is depend on this question, it is not about just to tell my teacher. ...
Neal Gaikwad's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
3k views

Can "enemy" be used as a plural noun? (Not as a collective noun)

I’ve been recently told that defeat five enemy or ten enemy are here is perfectly acceptable in English grammar. Personally, I’m inclined to believe that only five enemies or five enemy units are ...
Kei K's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
2k views

Collective Noun "jury" with plural phrase, singular or plural? [duplicate]

Curious if this textbook example is correct. According to the textbook, "are" is incorrect and "is" should be used instead. Why is this? After days of testimony, the jury, including its two ...
Ben Aubin's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
173 views

If "variety" is a singular collective noun, can I refer to it with "it"?

In this sentence I used it to refer to a variety mentioned a few words earlier, because I consider variety to be a collective noun which can be referred to in the singular. However, I'm not certain ...
prog94's user avatar
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-4 votes
2 answers
594 views

Type of noun from the sentence [closed]

"Seeing the baby the mother rose in her." Is the word 'mother' in the above sentence a: (a) Common Noun (b) Abstract Noun (c) Proper Noun (d) Collective Noun
Rokibul Islam Rumee's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
2k views

"Our generation" - it, they or we?

My sentence is: "Our generation work (because "generation" is a collective noun and here I use it in the plural) mainly on computers, we/they/it do(es) not need...". Which pronoun should I use?
Katabalista's user avatar
1 vote
5 answers
388 views

Strange plural pairs [closed]

I don't speak German but was fascinated to learn that in (Swiss or I believe Bavarian) German Rahm means cream, but Rahmen means frame - despite adding "-en" being the normal way to make a singular ...
abligh's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
12k views

Is "a flock of birds" always followed by a singular verb?

I wondered that "a flock of birds" is always followed by a singular verb and "flocks of birds" is always followed by a plural verb. Please help me make this confusion crystal clear. Thanks so much!
Kiều Đỗ's user avatar
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1 answer
109 views

All of the + collective grammatically correct?

Is this phrase grammatically correct: “I love all of her album”. I’m referring to an artist who’s only come out with one album and want to say that I like all the songs in the album. But the phrase “...
A. Bhasin's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
198 views

The Royal Family live in mansions, or in a mansion.? [closed]

The question was in an English small test. I'm not a native speaker of English and I would like to improve my English. In this test question, we had to fill in the blanks. Either: The Royal family ...
Karel's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
357 views

The collective noun 'duck' [closed]

I know that collective nouns don't take the indefinite article as the one in the following construction: They had 'duck' for lunch. But is it Ok if we use it In the same construction, especially, ...
Mohamed Ali's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
187 views

How would you call someone/thing who adheres (or not) to a set of regulations?

Given a regulatory body of some form, what is the term for someone or something that adheres to those regulations? I'm looking for a noun or collective noun, rather than an adjective. An example ...
peter.swallow's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
247 views

Counting nouns using "slew" and the grammatical implications

Just having a lively debate with a content writer over whether we should say There are a slew of reasons... or There is a slew of reasons... Read this article which suggests that different ...
nerdlinger's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
578 views

Should “megafauna” take a plural verb or a singular one?

I know megafauna is not a very common word, while fauna is more so. Fauna is singular, defined as a group of animals. ex. "The African fauna is diverse". Megafauna is the word defining all ...
Herman Toothrot's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
522 views

Plural for surnames derived from other words? [duplicate]

I recently came across a surname in a podcast, called Barleyfoot. In the podcast, his family was referred to as the Barleyfeet. Is this correct? Or should it be Barleyfoots? What about other possible ...
ColonD's user avatar
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8 votes
9 answers
3k views

Is there a noun for the general, solely negative, discrimination of any kind of group?

Is there a noun for the general, solely negative, discrimination of any kind of group? Like, a word that encompasses misandry, misogyny, anti-semitism, the common use of both "racist" and "sexist", ...
Malady's user avatar
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