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What is a collective noun?



A collective noun is a noun that refers to a group of entities that may be considered either as individuals or as one larger entity.


A collective noun may

  • agree grammatically with the verb either as a singular noun or as a plural noun, and
  • take either a singular or plural pronoun.
Examples (English)
  • Club


    It is a large club.

    They are a large club.

  • Gang


    The gang’s all here.

    The gang are all here.

  A collective noun is a kind of

Crystal 1980 68


Hartmann and Stork 1972 41


Pei and Gaynor 1954 41


Mish 1991 259

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