Comprehensive List of English Collective Nouns with Examples

Comprehensive List of English Collective Nouns with Examples

Collective nouns are used to describe a collection of groups of people, animals, and objects. in this blog, we shall discuss collective nouns with examples that would help you learn how to use them in writing.

Comprehensive List of English Collective Nouns with Examples

Comprehensive List of English Collective Nouns with Examples

What is a Collective Noun?

A collective noun is a word that refers to a group of individuals or things considered as a single unit. These nouns describe collections of people, animals, objects, or concepts.


Collective Noun Explanation
Team Instead of saying “a bunch of players, we say a team of players.
Herd Rather than listing each cow, we say a herd of cattle.
Flock Instead of naming every bird, we use a flock of birds.
Family Instead of specifying each family member, we say a family of four.
Swarm Rather than counting each bee, we use a swarm of bees.

Are Collective Nouns Plural or Singular?

Singular Usage:
You need to think of the group as one big family or team.

  • The team is winning the game
    (The whole team as one unit.)
  • The flock is flying in the sky.
    (The entire group of birds together.)
  • The class is learning new things.
    (The whole class as a single learning unit.)

Plural Usage:
You should imagine to focus on each member of the group.

  • The team are wearing their jerseys.
    (Individual members of the team.)
  • The flock are chirping loudly.”
    (Highlighting the actions of individual birds.)
  • The class are discussing their ideas.”
    (Emphasizing contributions from each student.) Class:

How to Use Collective Nouns?

♦ Identify the Group as a Whole:
Use the collective noun in its singular form when you want to refer to the group as a single entity.

  • The herd is migrating south for the winter.
  • The team is celebrating its victory.

♦ Emphasize Individual Members:
You should use the collective noun in its plural form when you want to highlight the actions or qualities of individual members within the group.

  • The team are working hard on their respective projects.
  • The family are preparing their own dishes for the potluck dinner.

♦ Match Verb Agreement:
You need to ensure that the verb agrees with the form of the collective noun you choose (singular or plural).

  • The choir is practicing for the concert. vs. The choir members are practicing for the concert.
  • The army is preparing for deployment. vs. The army soldiers are preparing for deployment.

♦ Consider Context:
You should pay attention to the context of your sentence. If you’re talking about the unity of the group, use the singular form. If you want to emphasize diversity within the group, use the plural form.

  • The staff is attending a training session together. vs. The staff are bringing their unique skills to the project.
  • The team is collaborating on a project together. vs. The team are applying their individual expertise to the project.

♦ Use Intuition:
Trust your language instinct. If the collective noun feels like it represents a single unit, go with the singular form. If it feels more like a group of individuals, go with the plural form.

  • The family is going on a vacation. vs. The family are packing their bags for the trip.
  • The class is studying for the final exam. vs. The class are reviewing their notes and textbooks for the test.

Collective Noun Examples

  • A herd of cattle
  • A pack of wolves
  • A pride of lions
  • A flock of birds
  • A school of fish
  • A swarm of bees
  • A pod of dolphins
  • A colony of ants
  • A troop of monkeys
  • A gaggle of geese

Categories of Collective Nouns

  • Collective Nouns For People
  • Collective Nouns For Animals
  • Collective Nouns for Things

Collective Nouns For People

  • A team of players
  • A class of students
  • A crew of sailors
  • An audience of spectators
  • A family of four
  • A staff of employees
  • A band of musicians
  • A group of friends
  • An assembly of people
  • A crowd of onlookers
  • A cast of actors
  • A panel of experts
  • A committee of members
  • A choir of singers
  • A tribe of indigenous people
  • A party of friends
  • A team of colleagues
  • A squad of athletes
  • A congregation of worshippers
  • An ensemble of performers

Collective Nouns For Animals

  • A herd of cattle
  • A pack of wolves
  • A pride of lions
  • A pod of dolphins
  • A flock of birds
  • A swarm of bees
  • A school of fish
  • A colony of ants
  • A troop of monkeys
  • A murder of crows
  • A gaggle of geese
  • A herd of elephants
  • A pride of tigers
  • A pod of whales
  • A covey of quail
  • A colony of penguins
  • A shoal of fish
  • A pack of dogs
  • A clowder of cats
  • A parliament of owls

Collective Nouns For Things

  • A stack of books
  • A collection of coins
  • A bouquet of flowers
  • A fleet of ships
  • A bunch of keys
  • A cluster of stars
  • An assortment of chocolates
  • A set of tools
  • A library of books
  • A row of houses
  • A heap of clothes
  • A bundle of sticks
  • A suite of furniture
  • A range of mountains
  • A pile of papers
  • A batch of cookies
  • A gallery of art
  • A fleet of cars
  • A network of computers
  • A chest of drawers

You May Also Like