Questions tagged [collective-nouns]

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

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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 ...
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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 '...
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3 answers
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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 &...
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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 ...
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1 vote
4 answers
162 views

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 ...
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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? ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3 answers
105 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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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2 answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 &...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1 answer
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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?
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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 ...
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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.
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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 ...
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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.
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3 votes
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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?
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1 vote
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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. ...
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0 answers
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Army of Soldiers vs Troop of Soldiers

Which of the two is correct ? Is anyone wrong ? Troop: 1.soldiers or armed forces. 2.a group of soldiers, especially a cavalry unit commanded by a captain, or an airborne unit. AND Army : ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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-4 votes
2 answers
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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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"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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5 answers
244 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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1 vote
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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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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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-1 votes
1 answer
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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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1 answer
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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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2 votes
2 answers
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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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1 vote
1 answer
188 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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1 vote
2 answers
421 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 ...
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1 vote
2 answers
394 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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8 votes
9 answers
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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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5 votes
1 answer
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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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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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2 votes
1 answer
119 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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2 votes
1 answer
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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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7 votes
2 answers
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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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