Questions tagged [collective-nouns]

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

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29 views

Name for a group of philosophies

There exist certain words which express that there exists a collection of something. For example, one could say "There was a gaggle of geese at the park" (gaggle meaning many geese) or "a murder of ...
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1answer
31 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 ...
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15 views

Usage of combination and combinations?

Is it correct to say "combinations of patterns..."? or Is it "combination of patterns..."? So the rule is, when you use a collective noun, you use the singular form of the verb. In that case, I have ...
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22 views

Singular–plural choices in subject+verb agreement, notional agreement, and pronouns with ambiguous antecedents [migrated]

The original version of a particular sentence: EWB is a group of engineers that, unlike many engineering corporations, assist people around the world by applying its knowledge to solve problems in ...
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36 views

Using a collective noun when only a single item exists? [closed]

A statement like "dodos were flightless birds" seems to be using a collective noun; "dodos" being the collective. But in the case where a group actually only had a single item, would a usage like ...
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2answers
68 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
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1answer
48 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?
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5answers
107 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 ...
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22 views

Is there a word for when the singular is the same as the plural? [duplicate]

Is there a word for when the singular is the same as the plural? e.g. "fish" I understand that fish isn't a collective noun, as there are already collective nouns for fish, like shoal or school for ...
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2answers
371 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!
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1answer
32 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 “...
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1answer
137 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 ...
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1answer
78 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, ...
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2answers
83 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 ...
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1answer
111 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 ...
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2answers
127 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 animals ...
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2answers
105 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 ...
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9answers
2k 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", ...
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1answer
420 views

Single word for process of removing duplicates? [duplicate]

In the context of a list of items, the process of creating copies of something can be called duplication, but is there a single word for the process of removing duplicates to create a list of unique ...
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0answers
39 views

Would the word, debris, be singular, plural, or either--conditionally? [duplicate]

My essay speaks of de-orbit "debris" falling to Earth's surface. Like as with the shuttle, it will be strewn in parts across the continent. Follow-on reference to the debris (items) would seem, in the ...
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1answer
87 views

Is it “That's the family that is moving in…” or “That's (they're?) the family who is (are?) moving in…”?

I know that 'who' refers to people and 'that' refers to things. But what about when the thing IS people, such as a family? Would I say, "That's the family that is moving in next door soon.", or "That'...
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1answer
786 views

Are any of these collective nouns hoaxes? [duplicate]

While some of these are unquestionably used (a clowder of cats, a pack of dogs), many just surprise me. For example “a cackle of hyenas”, “a memory of elephants”... For the latter I found a confirming ...
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2answers
1k views

Can a collective noun denoting a collection of inanimate objects be treated as plural in British English?

This grammar page on ‘Matching verbs to collective nouns’ provided by Oxford Dictionaries says: Collective nouns are nouns which stand for a group or collection of people or things. They include ...
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1answer
2k views

“a group of dancers who perform…” or “a group of dancers who performs…”?

The poet represents the daffodils as a group of dancers who (perform) a beautiful dance. Is it correct to write (perform) or I should write (performs).
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77 views

Should I use “is” or “are” when the subject is a list of percentages before a collective noun? [duplicate]

I am stuck in choosing the correct verb (is or are) for the following sentence, since generation is uncountable (singular agreement) and it is preceded by multiple percentages (plural agreement). ...
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2answers
4k views

Is “There was a group of people who were enjoying it” grammatically correct?

I heard this on TV (in reference to a Trump rally), but although it "sounds" all right, it doesn't seem to be grammatically correct since "group" is the subject. There was a group of people who ...
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1answer
86 views

Is it possible to have second-order collective nouns?

More out of curiosity than out of need, I was just wondering whether it would be possible to have a second-order collective noun for something, e.g.: One crow becomes Several crows becomes A ...
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4answers
1k views

Is there a collective word for the different “alphabets” used by different languages?

As I believe "alphabet" refers specifically to the latin a-z, is there a term that collectively refers to all collections of writing characters. ie, if I had a list that contained the entries "Latin, ...
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3answers
10k views

A huge crowd were/was

Should I use "was" or "were" in the following context? A huge crowd were/was present there.
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3answers
2k views

Why is “the enemy have driven the British and French armies to the sea” grammatically correct?

In Christopher Nolans "Dunkirk" an opening caption appears with the first sentence: "the enemy have driven the British and French armies to the sea" My intuition tells me that it should be "the ...
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1answer
3k views

Which is correct: “staff that may have this information” or “staff who may have this information”? [closed]

Should I use 'who' or 'that' in the following sentence? Any information you have, or any leads to staff who may have this information would be very much appreciated. Any information you have, ...
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1answer
353 views

The collective noun for cultures from different sites (blood, urine etc.)

What is the collective noun for microbiological cultures from different sites (blood, urine, feces etc.)? For example: "Data on ___________ [cultures from different sites (blood, urine etc.)] were ...
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1answer
1k views

The committee who have been working hard or the committee which has been working hard? [duplicate]

When referring to a committee that has been working hard, which of the following would you say? The committee which has been working hard. The committee who have been working hard. The committee is ...
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0answers
113 views

People is/are what makes this ___ [duplicate]

The sentence I want to write is something along the lines of: "I believe that the people here are what makes this such a great place to work". I know people is generally plural and should be followed ...
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3answers
123 views

What is a term to collectively describe the state or condition of a piece of media's “being” as it pertains to being either physical or digital?

For instance, if I have a movie on DVD, that particular movie holds a physical form, in the form of the disc. That particular movie is subject to the same physical limitations as anything else. In ...
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1answer
392 views

Do two of the same uncountable nouns joined by “and” use “is” or “are”?

I am wondering if I should use "was" or "were" in the following sentence, which is from a scientific paper. "Field data (4000 points) and gradient data (three projections) WAS/WERE sent to the PC." ...
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1answer
255 views

Possessives of Communal Nouns with Prepositions

I've come across an intriguing problem while grading a student's work. She wanted to discuss the feeding ground of a whale pod. The original sentence reads "the pod of whales feeding grounds." My ...
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3answers
127 views

Category that contains: “renaissance painters”, “Austrian economists”, “beat poets”

I'm wondering if there's a proper term for a kind of collective noun that specifies a group of individuals of "great historical significance". I'm looking particularly for a kind of class that ...
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2answers
364 views

Collective nouns and pronoun

The army ordered the zoo to kill all the wild animals. It thought that the animals would get away and harm people if a bomb hits the zoo. Is it grammatical to use the verb 'thought' to refer to an ...
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1answer
330 views

Uncollective noun for Proration

What is the uncollective noun for proration, which can be used with 's'? people; collective noun person; uncollective noun The proration above can be used in such a context. Ex. Changing a ...
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4answers
541 views

What is the collective noun for “Artificial Intelligence” [closed]

AI is everywhere now, changing our lives for the better or the worse. But, is there someone here who can tell me what the collective noun for Artificial Intelligence is? Or do we have to wait for an ...
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0answers
136 views

60% of the Bahamian population “is” or “are”? [duplicate]

Which is correct? 60% of the Bahamian population are concentrated in the capital city, Nassau. 60% of the Bahamian population is concentrated in the capital city, Nassau. The first sounds awkward to ...
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3answers
7k views

Can you call two things a “group”? [closed]

Collective nouns exist for a collection of things taken as a whole, like flock, crowd, school, pride, murder. These are all still "groups". I've read in many places that two things are not enough ...
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2answers
585 views

Strange collective nouns: are they common?

I'm from Germany and I always try to improve my English. Lately, I've stumbled upon a website that deals with collective nouns, that is to say, names for various groups of animals. I always thought ...
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1answer
2k views

Use of the verb form “review” vs “reviews” [duplicate]

When referring to a team of people, would it be appropriate to say that the team "reviews" something, or that they "review" that thing? Wouldn't both usages be correct depending on whether you're ...
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1answer
2k views

A group of people that (ARE) or A group of people that (IS) - proper usage? [duplicate]

Which sentence is right? A group of people that are OR A group of people that is I am aware that there is this grammar rule concerning relative pronoun that states something along the lines if 'X ...
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1answer
1k views

'police' and 'police officers' in American English

I'm wondering whether 'police' and 'police officers' are interchangeable in the following in American English: Twelve police officers / police were killed in the shoot-out. More than 20 police ...
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0answers
81 views

Can 'who' refer to an inanimate object such as a government body? [duplicate]

I'm wondering if it is possible to use 'who' in a sentence like this: 'the name of the government body who has assigned an identification number to the document.'
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3answers
278 views

Is there a word to collectively refer to “the things on the office table”

For example, "Confectionaries" is to refer to all kinds of candy. I'm looking for a word to describe all sorts of things one might find on the office table (pen, paper, paper clips etc)
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1answer
334 views

Should objects be singular or plural in percentage statistics?

I work in marketing, so I often see stats that reference smartphone penetration/usage. Which of the following is correct? I've seen both. 65% frequently check items on their phone while in-store ...