Collective nouns

A collective noun is a word which we use to define a group or collection of people, animals or things. In the phrase a herd of elephants, the word herd is a collective noun.

English has a lot of collective nouns. Don’t worry – even native speakers don’t know them all!

Here are some of the most common:

Animals

Animal collective nouns
collective noun phrase
a herd a herd of elephants
a herd of deer
a herd of cattle
a pack a pack of wolves
a pack of dogs
a flock a flock of birds
a flock of sheep
a swarm a swarm of bees
a swarm of flies
a shoal a shoal of fish

 

People

People collective nouns
collective noun phrase
a group a group of people
a crowd a crowd of people
a gang a gang of thieves
a gang of youths (derogatory)
a panel a panel of experts
a panel of judges
a board a board of directors
a bunch a bunch of idiots (derogatory)
a troupe a troupe of acrobats

Other collective nouns

Various collective nouns
collective noun phrase
a bunch a bunch of bananas
a bunch of grapes
a bunch of flowers
a bunch of keys
a pack a pack of cards
a pile a pile of rubbish
a set a set of rules
a group a group of islands
a series a series of events
a shower a shower of rain
a fall a fall of snow

Collective nouns can be plural

Don’t forget that a collective noun can also be made plural. We can say:

  • two bunches of keys
  • three piles of rubbish
  • four packs of wolves, etc.
test_upper4 Practise this vocabulary (upper-intermediate): Vocabulary exercise – collective nouns

 

3 Comments

  1. Ashley parks - September 26, 2015, 6:38 pm Reply

    They are all amazing collective nouns

  2. Antony john - January 12, 2016, 8:06 am Reply

    They are useful to learn and the are amazing collective nouns, they are really important.

  3. Antony john - January 12, 2016, 8:09 am Reply

    They are useful to learn and the are amazing collective nouns.They are so important and everyone should learn them.If you forget you have to learn them until you remember them.

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