Article »

collective noun

This Grammar.com article is about collective noun — enjoy your reading!

A collective noun, also called a group noun, refers to a group of persons or things. Examples include group, number, majority, team, and many others.

In American English, when individual members of the group noun act individually, you should use a plural verb. Study this example:

A majority of courts have followed Roe v. Wade. (Here, the courts have acted individually, in separate cases, not as a single group or mass. Thus, the verb have followed is plural.)

But if the individual members of the group act as a unit, then you should use a singular verb. Study this example:

A group of Senators has decided to introduce the bill. (Here, the group acted as a unit. Thus, the verb has decided is singular.)

In England, group nouns typically take a plural verb. Thus, across the pond, you'll hear:

The jury have reached their verdict.

Have a discussion about this article with the community:

Citation

Use the citation below to add this article to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"collective noun." Grammar.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 23 Nov. 2017. <http://www.grammar.com/collective-noun>.

Free Writing Tool:

Instant
Grammar Checker

Improve your grammar, vocabulary, and writing -- and it's FREE!


Improve your writing now:

Download Grammar eBooks

It’s now more important than ever to develop a powerful writing style. After all, most communication takes place in reports, emails, and instant messages.