what is collective noun?
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Nouns that specifies a group is known as collective noun.
In linguistics, a collective noun is a word used to define a group of objects, where objects can be people, animals, emotions, inanimate things, concepts, or other things. For example, in the phrase "a pride of lions," pride is a collective noun. Eg: A Swamp of bees, A Pack of hounds etc..... Cheers! Thumbs Up Please!
In linguistics, a collective noun is a word used to define a group of objects, where objects can be people, animals, emotions, inanimate things, concepts, or other things. For example, in the phrase "a pride of lions," pride is a collective noun. Eg: A Swamp of bees, A Pack of hounds etc.....
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Hi! Nouns that specifies a group is known as collective noun. In linguistics, a collective noun is a word used to define a group of objects, where objects can be people, animals, emotions, inanimate things, concepts, or other things. For example, in the phrase "a pride of lions," pride is a collective noun. Eg: A Swamp of bees, A Pack of hounds etc..... Cheers! Thumbs Up Please!
Nouns that specifies a group is known as collective noun.
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, a collective noun takes a singular verb when it refers to the collection considered as a whole, as in The family was united on this question. The enemy is suing for peace. It takes a plural verb when it refers to the members of the group considered as individuals, as in My family are always fighting among themselves. The enemy were showing up in groups of three or four to turn in their weapons. In British usage, however, collective nouns are more often treated as plurals: The government have not announced a new policy. The team are playing in the test matches next week. A collective noun should not be treated as both singular and plural in the same construction; thus The family is determined to press its (not their) claim. Among the common collective nouns are committee, clergy, company, enemy, group, family, flock, public, and team
In linguistics, a collective noun is the name of a number (or collection) of people or things taken together and spoken of as one whole. For example, in the phrase "a pride of lions", pride is a collective noun.
Most collective nouns encountered in everyday speech, such as "group", are mundane and are not specific to one kind of constituent object. For example, the terms "group of people", "group of dogs", and "group of ideas" are all correct uses. Others, especially words belonging to the large subset of collective nouns known as terms of venery (words for groups of animals), are specific to one kind of constituent object. For example, "pride" as a term of venery refers to lions, but not to dogs or llamas.
Derivation accounts for many collective words. Because derivation is a slower and less productive word formation process than the more overtly syntactical morphological methods, there are fewer collectives formed this way. As with all derived words, derivational collectives often differ semantically from the original words, acquiring new connotations and even new denotations.
The English endings -age and -ade often signify a collective. Sometimes the relationship is easily recognizable: baggage, drainage, blockade. However, even though the etymology is plain to see, the derived words take on quite a special meaning.
German uses the prefix Ge- to create collectives. The root word often undergoes umlaut and suffixation as well as receiving the Ge- prefix. Nearly all nouns created in this way are of neuter gender. Examples include:
- das Gebirge, "group of mountains", from der Berg, "mountain"
- das Gepäck, "luggage, baggage" from der Pack, "pack, bundle, pile"
- das Geflügel, "poultry, fowl (birds)" from late MHG gevlügel(e), under the influence of der Flügel, "wing", from MHG gevügel, from OHG gifugili = collective formation, from fogal, "bird"
- das Gefieder, "plumage" from die Feder, "feather"
 Metonymic merging of grammatical number
Two good examples of collective nouns are "team" and "government", which are both words referring to groups of (usually) people. Both "team" and "government" are count nouns. (Consider: "one team", "two teams", "most teams"; "one government", "two governments", "many governments"). However, confusion often stems from the fact that plural verb forms are often used in British English with the singular forms of these count nouns (for example: "The team have finished the project."). Conversely, in the English language as a whole, singular verb forms can often be used with nouns ending in "-s" that were once considered plural (for example: "Physics is my favorite academic subject"). This apparent "number mismatch" is actually a quite natural and logical feature of human language, and its mechanism is a subtle metonymic shift in the thoughts underlying the words.
In British English, it is generally accepted that collective nouns can take either singular or plural verb forms depending on the context and the metonymic shift that it implies. For example, "the team is in the dressing room" (formal agreement) refers to the team as an ensemble, whilst "the team are fighting among themselves" (notional agreement) refers to the team as individuals. This is also British English practice with names of countries and cities in sports contexts; for example, "Germany have won the competition.", "Madrid have lost three consecutive matches.", etc. In American English, collective nouns almost invariably take singular verb forms (formal agreement). In cases where a metonymic shift would be otherwise revealed nearby, the whole sentence may be recast to avoid the metonymy. (For example, "The team are fighting among themselves" may become "the team members are fighting among themselves" or simply "The team is fighting.") See American and British English differences - Formal and notional agreement.
A good example of such a metonymic shift in the singular-to-plural direction (which, generally speaking, only occurs in British English) is the following sentence: "The team have finished the project." In that sentence, the underlying thought is of the individual members of the team working together to finish the project. Their accomplishment is collective, and the emphasis is not on their individual identities, yet they are at the same time still discrete individuals; the word choice "team have" manages to convey both their collective and discrete identities simultaneously. A good example of such a metonymic shift in the plural-to-singular direction is the following sentence: "Mathematics is my favorite academic subject." The word "mathematics" may have originally been plural in concept, referring to mathematic endeavors, but metonymic shift—that is, the shift in concept from "the endeavors" to "the whole set of endeavors"—produced the usage of "mathematics" as a singular entity taking singular verb forms. (A true mass-noun sense of "mathematics" followed naturally.)
Nominally singular pronouns can be collective nouns taking plural verbs, according to the same rules that apply to other collective nouns. For example, it is correct British English or American English usage to say: "None are so fallible as those who are sure they're right." In this case, the plural verb is used because the context for "none" suggests more than one thing or person.[1