How Is a Noun a Collective Noun: 5 Facts You Should Know


In this article we’re going to dive deeper into the topic and try to answer the question “How is a Noun a Collective Noun?”, since they’re a sub-type of nouns that function differently.

Collective nouns are countable nouns that usually function in the singular form and they represent a large group of people and things.

Can a noun be collective?

Yes, nouns can be collective in nature.

Examples-

1.     Quiver of arrows- The ancient warriors always carried a quiver of arrows with themselves.

  • The term ‘quiver of arrow’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘quiver’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘arrows’.

2.     Team of players- The team of players are finally geared up for the final matches.

  • The term ‘team of players’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘team’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘players’.

3.     Gang of prisoners- A gang of prisoners have been let loose.

  • The term ‘gang of prisoners’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘gang’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘prisoners’.

4.     Class of students- This floor has the best class of students that we have.

  • The term ‘class of students’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘class’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘students’.

5.     String of horses- We saw a string of horses on our way over here.

  • The term ‘string of horses’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘string’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘horses’.

6.     Board of directors- The final decision is being deliberated by the board of directors.

  • The term ‘board of directors’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘board’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘directors’.

7.     Heap of rubbish- Whatever story she told us was just a heap of rubbish as it had no truth to it.

  • The term ‘heap of rubbish’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘heap’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘rubbish’.

When is a noun collective?

A noun is collective in nature when it represents a larger number of people, objects or animals.

Examples-

8.     Party of friends- I went to the amusement park with a party of friends.

  • The term ‘party of friends’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘party’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘friends’.

9.     Bowl of cereal- I fixed myself a bowl of cereal as a midnight snack.

  • The term ‘bowl of cereal’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘bowl’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘cereal’.

10.  Crew of sailors- The crew od sailors were singing a bunch of nautical songs.

  • The term ‘crew of sailors’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘crew’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘sailors’.

11.  Forest of trees- I once walked through a forest of trees during the evening time.

  • The term ‘forest of trees’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘forest’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘trees’.

12.  Library of books- I wish to own a private library of books once I buy my own house.

  • The term ‘library of books’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘library’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘books’.

13.  Fleet of ship- This fleet of ship has been long abandoned and is now just a tourist spot.

  • The term ‘fleet of ship’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘fleet’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘ship’.

14.  Bale of cotton- Can a whole shirt be made out of just one bale of cotton?

  • The term ‘bale of cotton’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘bale’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘cotton’.

How to use collective noun?

A collective noun can be used to refer to a group of any form of entity.

Examples-

15.  Bunch of keys- I have lost my bunch of keys and can’t seem to find it anywhere.

  • The term ‘bunch of keys’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘bunch’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘keys’.

16.  Bowl of rice- We all ate some lentils with a bowl of rice on the side.

  • The term ‘bowl of rice’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘bowl’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘rice’.

17.  Basket of fruits- They brought a basket of fruits for the picnic.

  • The term ‘basket of fruits’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘basket’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘fruits’.

18.  Chest of drawers- Please check that chest of drawers and see if you can find my comb in there.

  • The term ‘chest of drawers’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘chest’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘drawers’.

19.  Batch of bread- A finally baked my last batch of bread.

  • The term ‘batch of bread’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘batch’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘bread’.

20.  Host of angels- The people of this town are like a host of angels.

  • The term ‘host of angels’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘host’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘angels’.

21.  Group of islands- These group of islands you see on the map here are uninhabited.

  • The term ‘group of islands’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘group’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘islands’.
How Is a Noun a Collective
How Is a Noun a Collective

When to use collective noun?

A collective noun can be used to refer to a large group of people, places or things when one does not know the definite number of said people, places and things.

Examples-

22.  Cast of actors- The cast of actors did a fantastic job in the play.

  • The term ‘cast of actors’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘cast’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘actors’.

23.  Cloud of dust- A cloud of dust rose up while the helicopter was taking off.

  • The term ‘cloud of dust’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘cloud’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘dust’.

24.  Wad of cash- I found this wad of cash on the floor and need to know who it belongs to.

  • The term ‘wad of cash’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘wad’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘cash’.

25.  Reel of film- There is only one reel of film available for shooting.

  • The term ‘reel of film’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘reel’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘film’.

26.  Ream of paper- We might need a whole ream of paper for the project.

  • The term ‘ream of paper’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘ream’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘paper’.

27.  Staff of employees- The staff of employees needs a long vacation because of all the work they’ve put in.

  • The term ‘staff of employees’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘staff’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘employees’.

28.  Bouquet of flowers- We brought our aunt a bouquet of flowers.

  • The term ‘bouquet of flowers’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘bouquet’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘flowers’.

Why to use collective noun?

A collective noun can be used as it helps in laying out information about a larger number of entities in a concise manner.

Examples-

29.  Zoo of animals- This place seems like a zoo of animals even though it isn’t actually an official zoo.

  • The term ‘zoo of animals’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘zoo’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘animals’.

30.  Galaxy of stars- She loves looking up at the galaxy of stars at night.

  • The term ‘galaxy of stars’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘galaxy’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘stars’.

31.  Set of utensils- I bought a set of utensils for my new apartment.

  • The term ‘set of utensils’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘set’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘utensils’.

32.  Bundle of sticks- The children have been collecting a bundle of sticks each as a form of exercise.

  • The term ‘bundle of sticks’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘bundle’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘sticks’.

33.  Anthology of poems- This poet has written the best anthology of poems I’ve ever read.

  • The term ‘anthology of poems’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘anthology’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘poems’.

34.  Panel of experts- The panel of experts are in the process of making a decision about the scholarship grant.

  • The term ‘panel of experts’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘panel’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘experts’.

35.  Pile of clothes- Please pick up the glass that’s been sitting behind that huge pile of clothes.

  • The term ‘pile of clothes’ is a collective noun.
  • The term ‘pile’ is the collective word that represents a larger group, in this case ‘clothes’.

Conclusion

Therefore, the answer to the question “How is a Noun a Collective Noun?” is that it has a specific set of functions just like other forms of grammar in the English Language.

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