Collective nouns have the right to be a little tricky to identify and use. Are they singular, or are they plural? What form of verb carry out I use v a collective noun? with a small practice, cumulative nouns can quickly be mastered.

You are watching: How do collective nouns differ from plural nouns

In this post we’ll evaluation what collective nouns are, the singular and plural develops of cumulative nouns, and how come ensure suitable subject-verb covenant when using cumulative nouns.

After reviewing the details below, test yourself through a post-assessment quiz and also practice through our high quality, standards-aligned inquiries here.


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The Basics of collective Nouns3 Tips for Recognizing and also Using cumulative NounsApplying the Basics: cumulative Noun PracticeSummary on cumulative Nouns

The Basics of cumulative Nouns


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What is a cumulative Noun?

A cumulative noun is a word or expression that represents a group of civilization or things however is treated together a singular entity (Hint: a “collection” of people or things). Also though you deserve to count the separation, personal, instance members that the group, you commonly think of the individuals as a group, a whole, or together one unit.

Because collective nouns define a plurality that something, they are often perplexed with many nouns. Additionally, cumulative nouns deserve to be made into plural nouns, choose most usual nouns.

Consider this: A group is learning about different types that nouns.

There room three noun in the sentence above. One is a collective noun, and the others room plural nouns.

Collective Noun: group

Plural Nouns: types, nouns

What is the relationship between collective and also plural nouns?

Plural way more than one, so many nouns space referring to more than one of that certain noun. The most common method to do a noun many is by adding an ‘s’ to the end of the word, though there are assorted reals related to making singular noun plural.

Examples:

Singular: Tree/ Plural: Trees

Singular: college student /Plural: Students

Collective nouns space singular words used in location of plural nouns. Cumulative nouns deserve to be singular or plural, however plural noun are always plural.

Let’s use the instance from above: A team is learning about different varieties of nouns.

What is a group? it is a repertoire of people, places, or things. In this case, we deserve to infer that the team is a variety of students.

The indigenous “students” is a plural noun for student.

The sentence could be composed without utilizing a collective noun: Students space learning about different varieties of nouns.


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So aren’t collective nouns many if castle are made up of an ext than one of the same thing? It’s simple to do the wrong of thinking cumulative nouns room plural; however, these words space designed to stand for a single unit of an ext than one of the same thing.

Collective nouns can additionally be plural: Groups space learning about different species of nouns.

What go “groups” median in this sentence? It method more than one group, making it a plural collective noun.

Collective suitable Nouns

Collective nouns may also be appropriate nouns as soon as that ideal noun to represent a group.

Music groups and businesses are regularly used as cumulative nouns.Maroon 5 is play on the radio.Since Maroon 5 is a music group with lot of members, the is a collective appropriate noun, and also It is treated as a singular noun in a sentence.Target is a famous store for everyday needs.Since Target is a big retail chain, it would certainly be taken into consideration a collective appropriate noun in this sentence.If a particular Target is being referenced, the is no longer being offered as a collective suitable noun, and is treated as a singular proper noun in a sentence.I shop at the Target on the corner.Hint: If you substitute a generic collective noun favor “the band” or “the company” through the suitable noun, you have the right to see the the suitable noun is a collective noun, for this reason it need to be treated together a collective noun in a sentence with singular verbs.Exceptions
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Some collective proper nouns, sporting activities teams in particular, often use the plural type of the team name and require the usage of a many verb and plural pronouns as needed:

The Cubs have won the world Series, breaking your 107 year losing streak.

However, if the name of a city is used in ar of the team name, it is treated as a singular noun:

Chicago won the civilization Series, breaking its 107 year shedding streak.

How execute you use collective nouns?

Collective nouns have the right to be provided in any form of sentence, but the most usual mistakes made as soon as using collective nouns is subject-verb disagreement and also pronoun disagreement.

Subject-Verb Agreement:

If a singular cumulative noun is offered in a sentence, it requirements to be treated prefer a singular noun.

Incorrect Example: The team space playing in the championship game.

Correct Example: The team is playing in the championship game.

We usage the singular verb “is” through a collective noun, since a cumulative noun to represent a singular unit. If the collective noun is made plural, 보다 the verb will certainly follow plural noun rules:

The teams space playing in the championship game.

Let’s look again at our sample sentences and add one much more using a singular noun because that students:

A team is learning about different varieties of nouns.Students are learning about different varieties of nouns.Groups are learning about different types of nouns.A student is learning around different types of nouns.

What differences do you view in the sentences?

A group is learning about different species of nouns.Students are learning about different types of nouns.Groups are learning about different types of nouns.A college student is learning around different types of nouns.

You’ll an alert that verb usage for singular nouns room the same. Sentences 1 and also 4 use the singular verb “is”.

The sentences v singular nouns likewise use the post “A” prior to the noun.

The verb intake for many nouns room the exact same as well. Sentences 2 and 3 usage the plural verb “are”, and also there is no require for an article before the noun.

Subject-Pronoun Agreement

Pronoun agreement follows the very same rules as verb covenant for cumulative nouns. Singular pronouns are provided for singular collective nouns, and plural pronoun are used for plural collective nouns.


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Incorrect Example: The bouquet of flower is wilting, even though they to be labeled as fresh.

Correct Example: The bouquet of flowers is wilting, even though it to be labeled together fresh.

We usage the singular pronoun “it” with a collective noun, due to the fact that a cumulative noun to represent a singular unit. If the cumulative noun is do plural, than the pronoun will certainly follow many noun rules:

The bouquets of flowers room wilting, also though they were labeled together fresh.


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3 Tips for Recognizing and Using collective Nouns

Tip #1: If the takes much more than one person, animal, or thing to usage the word, it’s most likely a cumulative noun

Remember: collective nouns are words or phrases that represent a team of civilization or points as a singular unit.Think: If ns was looking in ~ a flock flying across the sky, would I be see one thing, or multiple things together?If ns was looking in ~ a flock, I would certainly be looking in ~ a group the birds paris together. For this reason flock is a cumulative noun.
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Tip #2: Subject-Verb Agreement: Singular collective nouns use singular verbs, plural collective nouns use plural verbs

Remember: cumulative nouns are thought about singular uneven it is especially made plural. Verbs provided with collective nouns must follow appropriate subject-verb commitment by using singular verbs v singular collective nouns, and also plural verbs only as soon as the cumulative noun has been made plural.The class is expected to follow classroom expectations.The classes space expected to monitor classroom expectations.

Tip #3: Pronoun Agreement: Singular collective nouns usage singular pronouns, plural collective nouns use plural pronouns

Remember: just like subject-verb agreement, pronoun commitment needs to be carefully checked to make sure singular pronoun are used for singular cumulative nouns, and plural pronouns are provided for plural cumulative nouns.The crew top top the aircraft carrier is prepared to deploy if it is dubbed on.The crews top top the aircraft carriers are ready to deploy if lock are called on.

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Applying the Basics: cumulative Noun Practice

Now that you understand what cumulative nouns are, and how to usage them effectively in a sentence, let’s practice identifying them and also checking for suitable verb and also pronoun usage. Remember, collective nouns are considered singular nouns, and also they must be provided with singular verbs and pronouns.

The Ultimate list of cumulative Nouns

Refer to the chart listed below for comprehensive list that common collective nouns.


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*Please keep in mind that this perform does not incorporate all cumulative nouns, and also many that the words deserve to be used for different things as well as cross categories.

Collective Nouns: Identifying cumulative Nouns

Complete the fast exercise listed below to assess her mastery of cumulative nouns.

Select the collective noun(s) in the sentence below. Remember, a cumulative noun is a indigenous or expression that to represent a group of human being or things yet is treated as a singular entity. Collective nouns can be do plural like most typical nouns.

1. I went v a team of college student to check out the statues commemorating the army of soldiers that dealt with in the oriental War.

In this sentence, group and army are cumulative nouns. Each word to represent multiple people in a solitary unit.

2. The audience cheered as the team took the field for the very first game in the collection against its greatest rival.

In this sentence, audience, team, and collection are collective nouns. Every word represents multiple world or things in a solitary unit.

3. The committees are working on different projects to assist increase community involvement in school events.

In this sentence, committees and community are collective nouns. The word committees is likewise a plural collective noun. Every word represents multiple human being in a solitary unit or units.

4. His family members bought a bunch of movies from best Buy come donate come the this firm gift drive.

In this sentence, family, bunch, finest Buy, and company’s are collective nouns. Best Buy is a suitable collective noun, and company’s has actually an apostrophe and an ‘s’, due to the fact that it is also acting as a possessive noun. Each word or expression represents multiple civilization or points in a single unit.

5. The student wishing to start a institution choir met with the school board and faculty to current a perform of debates supporting the idea.

In this sentence, choir, board, faculty, and also list are cumulative nouns. Each word represents multiple civilization or things in a solitary unit.

Pro tip: When examining whether a noun is a collective noun, questioning yourself, “Does this word stand for multiple human being or points as one unit?”

Collective Nouns: identify Subject-Verb Agreement and Disagreement

Complete the fast exercise below to assess your mastery the subject-verb agreement when using collective nouns.


Review each sentence and select the verb that ensures specific subject-verb agreement. Remember, a cumulative noun is a singular noun and also uses singular verbs. Cumulative nouns deserve to be do plural and use plural verbs.

1. The mob of black color Friday shoppers (is, are) anxiously wait for the store to open.

The correct verb because that this sentence is is, since the subject, mob, is a singular collective noun.The correct verb for this sentence is takes, since the subject, class, is a singular collective noun.

3. Top top Saturday, the local girl reconnaissance troops (sell, sells) cookies external of the grocery store stores.

The exactly verb because that this sentence is sell, since the subject, troops, is a plural collective noun.

4. The congregation (sings, sing) the hymn together with the pastor.

The exactly verb for this sentence is sings, because the subject, congregation, is a singular collective noun.

5. The to apologize orchard i go to every fall (have, has) 30 varieties of apples and the best brunch around.

The exactly verb because that this sentence is has, since the subject, orchard, is a singular collective noun.

Pro tip: When evaluating whether or not a sentence has suitable subject-verb agreement as soon as the subject is a collective noun, questioning yourself, “Is this collective noun singular or plural?” Singular cumulative nouns usage singular verbs, and also plural collective nouns usage plural verbs. If you deserve to replace the cumulative noun with the word “it”, it is singular.

Collective Nouns: identifying Subject-Pronoun Agreement and also Disagreement

Complete the fast exercise below to assess your mastery that subject-pronoun covenant when using cumulative nouns.


Review each sentence and select the pronoun the ensures precise subject-pronoun agreement. Remember, a cumulative noun is a singular noun and uses singular pronouns. Collective nouns can be made plural and also use many pronouns.

1. The employee was commended for (its, their) difficult work this year.

The exactly pronoun for this sentence is its, since the subject, staff, is a singular cumulative noun.

2. Most civilization order a batch of chocolate chip cookies, since (it’s, they’re) the most famous item.

The correct pronoun because that this sentence is it’s, the contraction ‘it is’, since the subject, batch, is a singular collective noun.

3. In the fall, I choose to clock the flocks of birds flying south to (its, their) winter home.

The correct pronoun because that this sentence is their, due to the fact that the subject, flocks, is a plural collective noun.

4. The lovely bouquet of roses smells prefer (it, they) came fresh indigenous the garden.

The correct pronoun for this sentence is it, since the subject, bouquet, is a singular collective noun.

5. The jury struggles to agree ~ above a verdict, therefore (it, they) asks for more time to deliberate.

The exactly pronoun because that this sentence is it, since the subject, jury, is a singular collective noun.

Pro tip: When analyzing whether or no a sentence has ideal subject-pronoun agreement as soon as the topic is a cumulative noun, questioning yourself, “Is this collective noun singular or plural?” Singular cumulative nouns usage singular pronouns, and plural collective nouns usage plural pronouns. If you have the right to replace the collective noun with words “it”, it is singular.

For additional practice, examine out cumulative Noun content on 6294.org.


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Try for Yourself: cumulative Noun Quiz

Feeling i was sure in your understanding of collective nouns?

Take this short quiz to check out what you’ve learned:


1. Is a cumulative noun, like the indigenous “group”, treated together a singular or plural noun?

Answer: SingularCorrect Explanation: that’s right! A collective noun, choose the indigenous “group”, is treated as a singular noun, since the indigenous “group” represents multiple people or things as a single unit.Incorrect Explanation: Sorry, that’s no right. Remember, unless the collective noun is made plural, in this case by including an ‘s’ to the word group, the is treated together a singular noun.

2. Do collective nouns prefer the indigenous “team” and also “herd” use singular or plural verbs and pronouns?

Answer: SingularCorrect Explanation: that’s right! cumulative nouns, like the indigenous “team” and “herd”, space treated together singular nouns, because they represent multiple human being or things as a solitary unit. Therefore, they use singular verbs and also pronouns.Incorrect Explanation: Sorry, that’s not right. Remember, unless cumulative nouns space made plural, in this situation by adding an ‘s’ come the indigenous team and group, they are treated as singular nouns. Therefore, they use singular verbs and pronouns.

3. In this sentence, is the underlined word collective, plural, or plural collective?

By the end of the game, our team to be in very first place.

Answer: CollectiveCorrect Explanation: it is right! The underlined word, team, is a collective noun. It is a singular word that represents many people (players).Incorrect Explanation: Sorry, that’s not right. Remember, if a word represents multiple people as a solitary unit, it is a collective noun. Additionally, uneven a cumulative noun is made plural, in this case by adding an ‘s’ to words team, it is treated together a singular noun.

4. In this sentence, is the underlined word collective, plural, or plural collective?

There are nests of ants all over the field.

Answer: plural CollectiveCorrect Explanation: it is right! The underlined word, colonies, is the plural form of the collective noun ‘colony’, which to represent multiple ant living as one group. The word colonies way more than one colony.Incorrect Explanation: Sorry, that’s not right. Remember, if a word represents multiple things together a single unit, it is a collective noun. Additionally, a cumulative noun can be made plural – in this instance by dropping the ‘y’ and including ‘ies’ to words colony.

5. Go the verb in the adhering to sentence agree or disagree v the subject?

When the litter the puppies is ready, I obtain to take one home.

Answer: AgreeCorrect Explanation: that’s right! The subject, litter, is a singular cumulative noun, for this reason it provides the singular verb ‘is’ for accurate subject-verb agreement.Incorrect Explanation: Sorry, that’s no right. Remember, a singular cumulative noun offers a singular verb for precise subject-verb agreement. Litter is a singular cumulative noun, therefore it offers the singular verb ‘is’.

6. Go the pronoun in the adhering to sentence agree or disagree with the subject?

I listen to mine favorite tape while working, since they assist me focus.

Answer: DisagreeCorrect Explanation: that’s right! The subject, band, is a singular collective noun, so the would usage the singular pronoun ‘it’ for exact subject-pronoun agreement.Incorrect Explanation: Sorry, that’s no right. Remember, a singular collective noun offers a singular pronoun for exact subject-pronoun agreement. Tape is a singular collective noun, so it supplies the singular pronoun ‘it’.

For additional practice with cumulative nouns, inspect out our completely totally free practice top top 6294.org: cumulative Nouns

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Teacher’s corner for collective Nouns

While the true that cumulative nouns room a foundational grammar skill, the typical Core English Language Progressive skills Chart shows that even elementary-level skills “require continued attention in greater grades together they are used to increasingly innovative writing and speaking.”

For particular standards addressing cumulative nouns, or standards on subject-verb and subject-pronoun agreement, inspect out the usual Core State criter site!

6294.org’s grammar course is 100% free, and also the cumulative nouns practice can be supplied for much much more than homework! ours assessments deserve to be provided as pre-and post-tests to measure up student progress. Our pre-made quizzes can be provided as bell-ringers, departure tickets, and also more!

In enhancement to our pre-made assessments, friend can also use our assignments function to produce your own quizzes and assessments.


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Summary on cumulative Nouns

A cumulative Noun is a native or expression that represents a group of world or things however is treated as a singular entity. They have the right to be do plural complying with the typical rules because that making noun plural.

Subject-Verb and Subject-Pronoun commitment is where most mistakes room made once using cumulative nouns. Collective nouns space treated together singular nouns uneven they room made plural. Singular cumulative nouns use singular verbs and pronouns, and also plural collective nouns use plural verbs and pronouns.

Collective nouns space words us see and use every day. As soon as using cumulative nouns in your writing, make certain you carefully inspect your work-related to certain you room using the proper verbs and pronouns!

Practice renders perfect! use our cumulative nouns practice on 6294.org’s completely cost-free grammar course!

You can also accessibility over 3,400 free, high-quality questions that address nearly every grammar concept.

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