What is the correct number form for detailing of collective noun?

E.g. for the group of errors:
Error group
Errors group


for the group of students:
Student group
Students group?

  • You really need to provide more context. This can get complicated. That said nouns can be used as adjectives: student group and error group.
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 24 at 16:32
  • 1
    There is no much context, it comes from programming, I try to name variables right way :) and stuck as non native speaker by this question.
    – Rekshino
    Commented Apr 24 at 16:35
  • 2
    Does this answer your question? Plural attributive nouns
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 24 at 16:36
  • Here's the thing: error group means group of errors, and student group means group of students.
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 24 at 16:37
  • 1
    In "Plural attributive nouns" are some hints, but no direct answer to my question. It's not about singularity of verb for the group.
    – Rekshino
    Commented Apr 24 at 16:47

1 Answer 1


Use the singular. If you use the plural when speaking, it sounds like you're making a possessive:

Error group (group of errors)
Error's group (group belonging to an error)

In writing, student group isn't always natural. If you see 5 students at a table, you'd say group of students. You'd only say student group if it was an organized group for students, like a club.

In programming, studentGroup or student_group (the singular, not the plural) is generally correct.

  • "In programming, studentGroup or student_group (the singular) is generally the correct pluralization"? Pluralization?
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 24 at 18:05

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .