Collective Nouns

In these lessons, we will learn collective nouns. Collective nouns are words for groups of people, animals or things.

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Related Pages
Plural Nouns
Countable And Uncountable Nouns
Gender Nouns
More Lessons On English Grammar

Here are some words for groups of people. They are singular countable nouns.

a community a family
an audience a company
a club a team
a band a corporation
a choir a society

Here are some collective nouns that we can use for groups of people.

a troop of soldiers a board of directors
a troupe of performers a panel of doctors
a crowd of people a panel of judges
a multitude of people a team of players
a class of children a gang of robbers
a host of angels a company of actors

Sometimes groups of animals have their own special collective nouns.

a school of whales a drove of ponies
a school of dolphin a brood of chickens
a pack of wolves a litter of kittens
a flock of sheep a litter of puppies
a flock of birds a herd of elephants
a swarm of bees a herd of cattle
a nest of rabbits a troop of monkeys

Here are some collective nouns that we can use for groups of things.

a bunch of bananas a row of houses
a bunch of keys a series of numbers
a set of tools a bouquet of flowers
a pile of sand a string of pearls
a suite of furniture a galaxy of stars


Collective Nouns
What are Collective Nouns? Collective nouns are words used to define a group of two or more objects.

Some examples are:
A school of fish
A swarm of bees
An audience of listeners
A bouquet of flowers
A deck of cards
A bunch of bananas
A forest of trees
A galaxy of stars
A colony of bats
A litter of kittens
A team of oxen
A litter of piglets
A crew of sailors
A flock of seagulls
A range of mountains
An atlas of maps
A class of students

GMAT Prep - Verbal - Sentence Correction - Collective Nouns and Generic Nouns as Subjects

Subject-verb agreement can be tricky when the subject of our sentence is a collective noun for a generic noun.

A collective noun names a class or a group. Nouns like “jury,” “committee,” or “group” are collective nouns. A generic noun represents a typical member of a group.

Usually, the things described as a collective noun functions as a unit, and is therefore treated as a singular noun.

For example, “The committee grants its permission for the artist to place her sculpture in the park.” The collective noun, “committee” is talking about a number of people, but they’re acting as one unit to give permission for this artist to place her sculpture in the park. Therefore, the noun, “committee” takes the singular verb “grants” and the singular pronoun, “its” when talking bout what it does.

However, things can get a little bit trickier when the members of a collective noun or the things described by a collective noun function as individuals rather than a group. For example: “The committee put their signatures on the document.” Since all of the members of the committee would have to individually sign a document, and they couldn’t act as a group in this case, we treat “committee” as a plural noun which makes the plural verb, “put” and the plural pronoun, “their.”

Generic nouns are grammatically singular. This sentence, “The black bear are remarkably strong climbers” isn’t talking about a particular bear but some member of the group, “The black bear.” Nonetheless, because we’re talking about one particular bear, we treat this as a singular noun and it should take the singular verb and the singular predicate noun. “The black bear is a remarkably strong climber” would be the correct way to write this sentence.

10 Peculiar Collective Nouns
A lounge of lizards
A shrewdness of apes
A coalition of cheetah
A peep of chickens
An obstinacy of buffalos
A rhumba of rattlesnakes
A murder of crows
A wisdom of wombats
A pandemonium of parrots
A smack of jelly fish

More collective nouns for animals.

herd of antelope
army of ants
colony of ants
swarm of ants
shrewdness of apes
flange of baboons
congress of baboons
tribe of baboons
culture of bacteria
cete of badgers
colony of badgers
sleuth of bears
sloth of bears
pack of bears (polar bears)
colony of beavers
lodge of beavers
flight of bees
grist of bees
hive of bees
swarm of bees
congregation of birds
dissimulation of birds
flight of birds
flock of birds
volery of birds
sedge of bitterns
siege of bitterns
herd of boar
singular of boar
sounder of boar
chain of bobolinks
brace of bucks
clash of bucks
herd of buffalo
rabble of butterflies
swarm of butterflies
wake of buzzards
flock of camels
army of caterpillars
clowder of cats
clutter of cats
glaring of cats
pounce of cats
dout of cats (house cats)
nuisance of cats (house cats)
kindle of cats (kittens)
litter of cats (kittens)
destruction of cats (wild cats)
drove of cattle
herd of cattle
kine of cattle
team of cattle
yoke of cattle (two)
herd of chamois
brood of chickens
flock of chickens
peep of chickens
brood of chicks
chattering of chicks
clutch of chicks
cartload of chimpanzees
herd of chinchillas
bed of clams
quiver of cobras
rag of colts
rake of colts
bury of conies
cover of coots
flight of cormorants
band of coyotes
sedge of cranes
siege of cranes
congregation of crocodiles
float of crocodiles
storytelling of crows
murder of crows
herd of deer
leash of deer
parcel of deer
bevy of deer (roe deer)
kennel of dogs
pack of dogs
litter of dogs (puppies)
pod of dolphins
drove of donkeys
herd of donkeys
pace of donkeys
trip of dotterel
bevy of doves
cote of doves
dole of doves
dule of doves
flight of doves
piteousness of doves
flight of dragons
weyr of dragons
wing of dragons
brace of ducks
flock of ducks
flush of ducks
paddling of ducks
raft of ducks
team of ducks

More collective nouns for animals (continued …)

aerie of eagles
convocation of eagles
swarm of eels
herd of elephants
memory of elephants
parade of elephants
gang of elk
herd of elk
mob of emus
business of ferrets
cast of ferrets
fesnyng of ferrets
charm of finches
catch of fish
haul of fish
run of fish
school of fish
shoal of fish
swarm of flies
lead of foxes
leash of foxes
skulk of foxes
army of frogs
colony of frogs
knot of frogs
flock of geese
gaggle of geese
skein of geese (in flight)
wedge of geese (flying in a 'V')
horde of gerbils
corps of giraffes
herd of giraffes
tower of giraffes
cloud of gnats
horde of gnats
swarm of gnats
herd of gnus
implausibility of gnus
drove of goats
herd of goats
tribe of goats
trip of goats
charm of goldfinches
glint of goldfish
band of gorillas
skein of goslings
leash of greyhounds
covey of grouse
pack of grouse
colony of gulls
group of guinea pigs
horde of hamsters
drove of hares
down of hares
husk of hares
leash of hares
trace of hares
trip of hares
warren of hares
aerie of hawks
cast of hawks
kettle of hawks
array of hedgehogs
prickle of hedgehogs
brood of hens
hedge of herons
sedge of herons
siege of herons
shoal of herrings
crash of hippopotami
herd of hippopotami
bloat of hippopotami
drift of hogs
parcel of hogs
passel of hogs
nest of hornets
harras of horses
herd of horses
stable of horses
team of horses
troop of horses
cry of hounds
mute of hounds
pack of hounds
charm of hummingbirds
clan of hyenas
band of jays
party of jays
scold of jays
smack of jellyfish
herd of kangaroos
mob of kangaroos
troop of kangaroos

More collective nouns for animals (continued …)

deceit of lapwings
ascension of larks
exaltation of larks
leap of leopards
pride of lions
sowse of lions
troop of lions
lounge of lizards
herd of llamas
plague of locusts
tidings of magpies
sord of mallards
stud of mares
richness of martens
horde of mice
mischief of mice
nest of mice
company of moles
labor of moles
movement of moles
cartload of monkeys
tribe of monkeys
troop of monkeys
troup of monkeys
herd of moose
barren of mules
pack of mules
rake of mules
span of mules
watch of nightingales
bevy of otter
family of otter
raft of otter
romp of otter
parliament of owls
drove of oxen
herd of oxen
span of oxen
team of oxen
yoke of oxen (two)
bed of oysters
company of parrots
covey of partridges
muster of peacocks
ostentation of peacocks
colony of penguins
crèche of penguins
huddle of penguins
parcel of penguins
rookery of penguins
nest of pheasants
nide of pheasants (on the ground)
nye of pheasants (on the ground)
bouquet of pheasants (when flushed)
flight of pigeons
flock of pigeons
drove of pigs
herd of pigs
litter of pigs
farrow of pigs (piglets)
sounder of pigs (wild pigs)
shoal of pilchards
congregation of plovers
wing of plovers
chine of polecats
string of ponies
pod of porpoises
school of porpoises
passel of possum
coterie of prairie dogs
bevy of quail
covey of quail
bury of rabbits
colony of rabbits
down of rabbits
drove of rabbits
husk of rabbits
leash of rabbits
trace of rabbits
trip of rabbits
warren of rabbits
nest of rabbits (young)
wrack of rabbits (young)
gaze of raccoons
nursery of raccoons
colony of rats
horde of rats
mischief of rats
pack of rats
plague of rats
swarm of rats
rhumba of rattlesnakes
storytelling of ravens
unkindness of ravens
crash of rhinocerouses
building of rooks
clamor of rooks
storytelling of rooks

More collective nouns for animals (continued …)

run of salmon
school of salmon
shoal of salmon
bob of seals
colony of seals
crash of seals
harem of seals
herd of seals
pod of seals
rookery of seals
spring of seals
team of seals
school of shark
shiver of shark
down of sheep
drove of sheep
flock of sheep
fold of sheep
hurtle of sheep
trip of sheep
bed of snakes
den of snakes
nest of snakes
pit of snakes
walk of snipes
wisp of snipes
host of sparrows
dray of squirrels
scurry of squirrels
murmuration of starlings
muster of storks
mustering of storks
flight of swallows
bevy of swans
herd of swans
wedge of swans (flying in a 'V')
flock of swifts
drift of swine
sounder of swine
spring of teals
ambush of tigers
streak of tigers
knot of toads
hover of trout
flock of turkeys
brood of turkeys (immature)
bale of turtles
generation of vipers
nest of vipers
colony of vultures
mob of wallabies
herd of walruses
pod of walruses
pack of weasels
sneak of weasels
gam of whales
herd of whales
pod of whales
school of whales
plump of wildfowl
herd of wolves
pack of wolves
rout of wolves
route of wolves
warren of wombats
fall of woodcocks
descent of woodpeckers
herd of yaks
herd of zebras
zeal of zebras

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