|A collective noun can be considered as either singular or plural depending on the sense of the sentence. If it's too hard to make a decision on singular or plural, precede your collective noun with words like members of…, forcing you to go plural.|
Collective Noun Singular or Plural?A collective noun can be singular or plural depending on the sense of the sentence. In the first example below, the shoal is considered as one unit. Therefore, shoal is considered singular. However, in the second example, the shoal is considered as lots of individuals, and shoal is considered plural.
Add a Word to Avoid the IssueTo simplify matters, a word for the individuals within the group can be introduced. In the first example below, it is necessary to decide whether the collective noun jury should be singular or plural. However, by adding members of, you are forced to use a plural verb.
WHAT IS A COLLECTIVE NOUN?
A collective noun is a word that represents a group. For example:
TERMS OF VENERY
Words used to describe a specific group of things (usually animals) are called terms of venery. They are also collective nouns. Examples:
See the lesson Types of Nouns.