Does a singular collective noun take a singular or plural verb? Collective Nouns British English. Collective nouns — singular nouns that refer to more than one being or thing — aren't consistently treated as either singular or plural in Spanish. Collective nouns are nouns which stand for a group or collection of people or things. Their usage in English differs from most other languages: We use a singular verb if the whole group is understood as a single entity, and a plural verb if … You should match your collective noun with a singular verb (e.g., the group is, the team believes, the crowd was moving) unless the context of your sentence makes a singular verb seem awkward or wrong. Collective nouns such as “team” and “government” are generally treated as singular in American English but plural in British English. In American English, most collective nouns are treated as singular, with a singular verb: √ The whole family was at the table. Matching Verbs To Collective Nouns. For those who, like many people, learn English later, their native language usage habits can cause mistakes. Well, it depends. Sometimes they take a singular verb, but other times they take a plural verb. If it refers to the individuals in the group or the parts that make up the group, then the verb should be plural. If the collective noun refers to the group as a unit, then it takes a singular verb. "Group," "team," and "crowd" are examples of collective nouns. A collective noun refers to a group of people or things. Whether they take singular or plural verbs and pronouns also depends on whether you want to refer to the group as a single unit or to the individual members of the group. Today’s topic is collective nouns, nouns that describe a group, such as “family,” “orchestra,” and “board.” Guest-writer Bonnie Trenga writes, There are around 200 collective nouns in the English language (1). We should pay particular attention to verb conjugations when using collective nouns. So you could treat a collective noun as singular if it referred to a single entity and plural if it referred to a number of individuals. Group, for example, is a collective noun.Legal writers often have to deal with collective nouns, and here are some of the most common: board, council, court, faculty, government, jury, majority, panel, and staff.When using collective nouns, writers occasionally face questions of subject-verb agreement and pronoun agreement. If the emphasis is on the unit (in impersonal expressions), we use the verb in the singular. Grammar Rules for Using Collective Nouns There is one grammar rule, however, that is clear: When the collective noun is followed immediately by a verb , the noun is treated as singular. They include words such as audience, committee, police, crew, family, government, group, and team. Collective nouns can take either a singular or plural verb depending on the context. The guidelines below will help you decide whether a singular collective noun takes a singular or plural verb. Example: The band is playing with an orchestra. Collective Noun Singular or Plural? But there are some cases where a singular collective noun actually expresses a plural idea and needs a plural verb. The band is a unit. These nouns are called collective nouns because they describe a collective (i.e. a group) of people or things. A collective noun is the word used to represent a group of people, animals, or things. Even native English speakers learn verb conjugations over time and with plenty of practice. Collective Noun Singular or Plural? A singular collective noun usually takes a singular verb: Our family enjoys this restaurant. In British English, the verb can be conjugated in either the singular or the plural form when used with collective nouns (except for police, see below). Definition and Example Sentences Singular or Plural? The staff are giving each other presents. When a collective noun is referring to a group of individuals it takes a plural verb.