Questions tagged [collective-nouns]

Questions about nouns that refer to a group as a whole

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2 answers
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the majority of + plural noun + singular vs. plural verb

If I say "the majority of" followed by a plural noun, should it then be followed by a singular or a plural verb? Some examples: The majority of cars is blue. The majority of cars are blue. ...
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1 answer
49 views

What does the word "staff" mean in this context?

These are some sentences from dictionaries with the word "staff": Cambridge dictionary: There are over a hundred staff in the company. Oxford dictionary: the pending lay-off of fifty staff ...
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2 answers
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What is the collective noun for words?

What is the collective noun for words, like say "a group of words." Is there a more specific collective noun and if there is, what is it? Thanks in advance for the help.
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10 votes
4 answers
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A group of dogs emerge or emerges?

I'm telling a story and I reach to this sentence: A group of dogs emerges from the darkness of the forest and I'm wondering if it is better to say A group of dogs emerge from the darkness of the ...
1 vote
2 answers
45 views

Would "in an office" here refer to a set of rooms/offices and not one specific office where an individual works?

He works in an office on the seventh floor. Would "in an office" here refer to a set of rooms/offices, just one specific office/room, in which he works, or could mean either?
1 vote
2 answers
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Plural collective noun

Context: There are two families. Family X have a car each, and Family Y also have a car each. Can “two families have a car each” mean “A, B, C and D have a car each”? I mean, families are regarded ...
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1 answer
59 views

“colorful flowers” or “a colorful bundle of flowers”

I have a bundle of a red flower, blue flower, green flower, and purple flower. Are “colorful flowers” and “a colorful bundle of flowers” both acceptable?
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1 answer
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Should a verb in the phrase "A family of animals" be singular or plural?

A family of rabbits is playing in the garden. Here can I use are instead of is? According to Combridge dictionary, is or are is correct here, right? [C, + sing/pl verb]: https://dictionary.cambridge....
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1 answer
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Can "research work" be treated as a plural noun?

I know "research works" does not make sense. (I think I heard "works" is only used for art pieces.) The problem is that I want to use "research work" to indicate multiple ...
-2 votes
1 answer
29 views

common plural noun [closed]

Is the following sentence grammatically correct? The Italian was furious after the Turin giants were dumped out of the Champions League last season by a late Real Madrid penalty. As I've been taught ...
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1 answer
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collective noun: "couple" subject verb agreement

Which sentence is grammatically correct? how long the couple remain faithful is something questionable. how long the couple remains faithful is something questionable.
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0 votes
1 answer
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Is it correct to say, "This is 1,000 people"?

An infographic in a BBC article reads, "What does 500,000 people look like?" followed by, "This is 1,000 people," instead of "These are 1,000 people." I can see that it ...
3 votes
0 answers
67 views

Use of the singular/plural in "there is a multitude" [duplicate]

I understand that "multitude" expresses a collective noun. While writing the sentence: There is a multitude of articles and blog posts written on the topic, the Google doc spellcheck ...
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Refer to "the industry" as they?

"The airline industry is not happy with the government's decision, it says/they say $20 billion is not enough" I know the industry is singular but is it ok to use "they" since it's ...
1 vote
1 answer
542 views

Which is correct: "A group of kids was punished" or "A group of kids were punished"?

The first sentence sounds grammatically correct but really weird. Meanwhile, the second sentence sounds grammatically incorrect but much better.
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0 votes
2 answers
158 views

which form of verb is used with majority

The majority ________ that the country can progress under able leadership. Either believe or believes should be used. As far as I know majority goes with both singular and plural verbs, but the above ...
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Plural Vs Singular? "different climate(s?) at either side(s?) of the mountain"

Would you please clarify for me what would be the difference in meaning between the following phrases? different climate at either side of the mountain different climate at either sides of the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Do you use expressions like "I have two (or three, four.....) valuables in my suitcase."?

A grammar book I'm reading now explains, "the word valuables is a plural noun, but unlike many others, phrases like three valuables is possible although a/one valuable is impossible". ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Collective Nouns and their possessive pronouns

The crowd is clapping their hands. The crowd are clapping their hands. The crowd is clapping its hands. Which one of the above is a correct sentence? The word 'crowd', being a collective noun, can ...
3 votes
2 answers
626 views

Which form (singular vs plural) should I use for a verb governed by a collective noun?

For context, let me clarify. When giving ownership to a person, I can use the ’s form of that person’s name. This is Robert’s car. When attributing ownership to two people or more, I can still add ...
1 vote
2 answers
396 views

Is there a word for large group of horses? [closed]

Is there a word for large group of horses? I know there's "flock" for birds, but I am wondering if there's a similar word for horses and land mammals.
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2 answers
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When do you use articles in front of collective nouns?

Which of the below is correct? You are a member of staff at the taxi office. You are a member of the staff at the taxi office.
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3 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is correct - grape flavor or grapes flavor?

Its very confusing which is correct: grape flavor or grapes flavor We had a debate in our office regarding the collective noun - Grapes As per user3169 [in ELL]: "You should use grapes though, ...
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1 answer
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"Have" Vs "Has" when using with name of a team

Which of the two sentences are grammatically correct? Ferrari has been struggling this season. Or Ferrari have been struggling this season. According to my understanding, 'has' is what I ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Should I use 'is' or 'are' in this sentence? which one is correct?

You can't trust people with secrets these days. The majority [is or are] gossips. which one is correct and why?
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1 answer
573 views

Using the definite article with a collective noun

In the following sentence (emphasis is mine, source) The government manipulates the television with the emphasis on their major voters, who are dependent upon television--instead of reading the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Singular–plural choices in subject+verb agreement, notional agreement, and pronouns with ambiguous antecedents

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
287 views

How to realize "group of" is plural or single?

This is my first time to rise question and I'm a newbie in English. I have some question about "group of" The group of students is going to Tainan tomorrow. A group of students show an ...
0 votes
3 answers
226 views

Can collective nouns be plural?

Can collective nouns be plural? For example, can I say armies instead of army if I'm talking about different types of armies, or crowds. crowd and army are already plural but can I add an s after ...
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1 vote
2 answers
3k views

This family or these family

In british English the word family takes a plural verb. My question is does the word family take a plural determiner as well? For example: These family are willing to help you. In AmE the word ...
0 votes
3 answers
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What's the difference between "The Greenford team have" and "The Greenford team has"?

The Greenford team have completed the installation and hopes that word will soon get around about this life-saving equipment AND The Greenford team has completed the installation and hopes that ...
0 votes
1 answer
438 views

"porn is widespread" or "porn are widespread"

Which one is grammatically correct? porn is widespread. porn are widespread. I have found examples of both on the web, does it mean the sentences are correct and both have the same meaning?
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2 votes
3 answers
173 views

Does this noun phrase (a variable name) take a singular or plural verb?

I'm writing a codebook that defines variables in a data set. Should the verb of the following sentence be singular or plural (refer/refers)? (Note that the italics appear in original; they are, ...
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1 answer
1k views

Using articles a/an with audience?

If the IPL has succeeded in drawing an audience across the country, it is because cricket has always had a strong foundation and a dedicated audience. I understand audience is a collective noun and ...
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2 answers
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Two cups of coffee is too much / is too many / are too many

My understanding is that depending on whether we consider two cups of coffee as a whole/unit or counting them individually we could say either: 1.1 Two cups of coffee is too much (the quantity ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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The work that they do/does

I wrote this: Read about the work that the researchers and curators do every day. In retrospect, shouldn't it be does as "work" here is singular? "Read about the works that the researchers and ...
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0 answers
125 views

'Have' or 'Has' with groups

Edit: This might be a duplicate, but I could not find a similar sentence (like mine) in any of the other questions. I have seen many questions on this topic on SE and forums. But I came across this ...
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1 answer
216 views

Collective noun + verb

A collective noun is a word which we use to define a group or collection of people, animals or things. Which is/are right?, or are these sentences right? Singular: a pack of wolves is ... an army ...
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3 answers
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What's the proper name to call a bunch of coins?

Is it "amount", "bunch", "pack", "wallet" or something else? The thing here is that I'm a programmer and I'd like to create a new variable to store the number of coins in it, but I'm not sure how to ...
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5 votes
3 answers
20k views

Can the word 'crowd' be used in plural

I've found this sentence in a Straightforward intermediate student's book (p7): "I never miss." Mitty is holding a heavy automatic and the crowd believe him Shouldn't it be like 'the crowd ...
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2 answers
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"People decrease" or "The number of people decrease"?

I'm writing a formal technical report. I'm bit confused about how to use "decrease". The report discusses the shift in the number of people heading home in the evening. I'd like to say "the number ...
4 votes
3 answers
48k views

Most of the audience is/are

Should I use are or is in the following sentence? Most of the audience is/are sleeping.
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1 answer
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What is the correct replacement for a 'band' of snakes?

What is the correct replacement for a 'band' of snakes?
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8 votes
6 answers
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A group of boys is/are [duplicate]

1) A group of boys is playing football. or 2) A group of boys are playing football. My teacher told me the first sentence is correct since of boys can be ignored to make: A group is playing ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Is a company e.g. Pfizer, singular or plural?

Here is from an article from the Economist magazine: One drug he talks about is an antidepressant called reboxetine (branded as Edronax by its makers, Pfizer) that he used to prescribe to his ...
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6 votes
3 answers
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Is it common for British English speakers to use "us" instead of "me"?

If someone is keeping a secret, in the US one might say "tell me!" However, I was in the UK and I heard a person say "tell us!" although she did not appear to be with anyone. Am I misunderstanding or ...
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1 answer
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When and why do/does "staff" as a collective noun get plural/singular pronoun/verb?

I know that collective nouns such as staff, team, crew, and family can get both singular and plural pronouns/verbs in different situations and contexts, but my question is only about staff when used ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Why is the subject singular in this sentence (ponies are a breed that need to be protected)

From this BBC News article: The wild Carneddau ponies of Snowdonia are a unique breed that need to be protected, say scientists I was surprised to read need, expecting needs. Why does it say a ...
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13 votes
2 answers
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“The group of fifty people {is / are} going to arrive Thursday” - which is preferred?

Isn't the following sentence grammatically correct? The group of fifty people are going to arrive Thursday. What's wrong with it? Someone said it should be The group of fifty people is going ...