A collective noun denotes a collection of people, things, animals, emotions or concepts considered as a single whole.
A collective noun is usually treated as singular.
Consider the expression ‘a committee of members’
There can be several members but only one committee. In this case, ‘members’ is a common noun whereas ‘committee’ is a collective noun.
More examples of collective nouns are given below.
- A bunch of grapes or keys
- A gang of bandits
- A class of students
- An army of soldiers
- A hive of bees
- A fleet of ships
- A constellation of stars or galaxy
- An archipelago of islands
- A bevy of girls
- A crowd of people
- A mob of people
- A swarm of flies
- A jury of judges
- A herd of cattle
- A flock of sheep
- A team of players
Examples are given below.
- This class consists of fifty students.
- The jury was unanimous in its decision.
- The crowd was too large to be controlled by the police.
- The mob attacked the police station.
- The Australian cricket team is scheduled to visit India in July.
- A bevy of girls entered the garden.
- A bunch of keys was lying on the table.
- You can find a swarm of flies hovering over uncovered trays of sweets.
- The crew of sailors controlled the ship in the stormy sea.