Guaranteed to improve your English

Collective Nouns: Are We in England?

In one of my Linkedin groups there has been some discussion over pluralizing units that are singular in name but are made of more than one of something. These are called collective nouns.

In the United States, collective nouns are nouns that denote a unit or group. Examples include class, group, herd, committee, orchestra, jury and team. They take a singular verb and/or pronoun. So, the committee met to set its agenda and the jury reached its verdict.

A problem arises when a city in which there is a sports team is the collective noun. In America, the city takes a singular verb and pronoun: Los Angeles got its act together and scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth. “Los Angeles” refers to the Dodgers. which comprise 24 baseball players and several coaches.

In England the city is treated like a plural noun. So, Arsenal have their hands full. Arsenal refers to the soccer (football) team that plays in Highbury, London. American English would singularize the team.

Also in America, be aware that sometimes the collective noun rule (singular verb/pronoun) doesn’t apply. Example: A thousand bushels is a good yield. The bushels refer to a single unit, in this case a yield. But, a thousand bushels were created.

So, where are you, England or the U.S.?

Until next time! Use the right words, wherever you are!


April 20, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Reblogged this on InspiredWeightloss! and commented:
    Add your thoughts here… (optional)


    Comment by sweetopiagirl | April 20, 2012 | Reply

  2. […] Collective Nouns: Are We in England? ( […]


    Pingback by Types of Nouns « easy english teacher | April 30, 2012 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: