Nouns : Collective Nouns

collective nouns
Nouns : Collective Nouns

A collective noun is a slightly different kind of noun, its job is to give a single name to a group of people, places objects or ideas:
audience, band, choir, class, crowd, herd, flock, herd, bunch, range, crew, flotilla,

Here are some examples used in sentences:
The flotilla sailed into the harbour.
Dad threw the bunch of keys on the table
The audience clapped for a long time at the end of the show


A flotilla is one group of ships sailing as one unit into the harbour.
The keys were on a ring and landed together on the table.
The audience is a group of people acting together as one.

So are collective nouns singular or plural?

Hmm, the problem is that they can be either. though perhaps this is not with pursuing with primary age students it is a well for teachers to know the ins and outs so here we go…


Singular means one plural means more than one. Collective nouns are usually singular because they centre on all the individuals in the group acting as one. In this case the verb that describes the groups actions will be singular.:

The team is winning
The pride of lions is hunting buffalo

However, when a sentence is hi-lighting the behaviour of individuals in the group then the collective noun is regarded as plural and the corresponding verb will be plural:

The team are working well together tonight. 
The lions have attacked and the herd are scattering in all directions. 

Collective Nouns Crossword/Word Search from primary resources.co.uk