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collective noun

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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.

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"collective noun." STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 23 Nov. 2017. <>.

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