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Collective Nouns

Collective nouns are singular in form but indicate a collection or group of things or people.






Collective nouns can take singular or plural verbs, depending on the meaning or context. When using a collective noun as one unit, use a singular verb.

The team has a new uniform. 

    The group goes skiing every year.

      When indicating that the members of a group are acting individually, use a plural verb.

      The committee do not agree on what to do. 

        The family have all gone to do different things today.

          Sometimes the plural form with a collective noun can sound awkward, even if it is correct. You can always rephrase the sentence.

          The committee members do not agree…

            The family members have…

              TOEFL™  Words

              Choose the correct vocabulary word that best fits the intended meaning of each sentence. Verbs may be in any tense.

              settle / confirm / critical / rigid / complex / chiefly / block / challenge / forbid / relinquish

              TOEFL™  Idioms

              Choose the correct idiom for each sentence. Answers may be in any verb tense.

              tear...down / turn...around / back and forth / give in / get away / throw...away / run into / wear out / at all / talk...over

              1. My shoes are _____ _____. I need new ones.

              1. Don't _____ _____ these papers. They're important.

              1. They will _____ that building _____ and build a new one.

              1. To "pace" means to walk _____ _____ _____.

              1. I _____ _____ Fred yesterday. I hadn't seen him in a while.

              1. The test wasn't difficult _____ _____. It was easy.

              1. The criminals did not _____ _____. The police caught them.

              1. _____ the car _____ and go back.

              1. We _____ the situation _____ and came to a decision.

              1. Try your best and never _____ _____.

              • His _________ opinions made him very unpopular.

              • A typical Japanese dish will consist _________ of fish and vegetables.

              • Please call to _________ your reservation 24 hours in advance.

              • A federal law _________ motorists from driving faster than 65 miles per hour.

              • Your brother is much too _________ of your political views.

              • The attorneys agreed to _________ the case out of court.

              • The reporters were _________ by police from entering the building.

              • He _________ his claim to the property so that it could be sold.

              • The _________ of learning is to study frequently.

              • The physics theories in that lecture were very _________. I'll have to study for weeks for the test!