Collective Nouns and Verbs

Collective Nouns and Verbs :

Collective nouns are followed by singular or plural verbs according to the sense of the sentence.

  1. The Jury has asked for some more information.
    The Jury - collective noun - taken in singular sense - unified body
    Hence singular verb 'has asked' is used.

  2. The Jury are not able to come to a decision.
    Plural verb 'are' is used as the 'jury' is taken in its plural sense.
    The Jury = members having different opinions

    A collective noun is singular when it refers to a group as a single unit.

  3. A minority in the Parliament is blocking the passage of the bill.

    A collective noun is plural when it refers to the individual members of the group.

  4. A minority of the Parliament members are against the Prime Minister.

'Minority' is taken in its plural sense.

Study the following sentences.

1. The Council has elected its Chairman.
2. The fleet is sailing out beautifully.
3. The committee is agreed on the main topic.
4. There is a large number of students in the school.
5. The mob has been dispersed violently by the police.
6. Parliament has elected its leader.
7. The Majority is against any agreement.
8. The crew has many members.
9. In regard to details, the council were strongly divided.
10. A number of pupils were caught copying.
11. A number of propositions have been suggested to tackle the situation.
12. The military were called in to help, as the police could not keep order in the city.
13. The crew are waiting for instructions from the captain.
14. The crew is waiting for instructions from the captain.
15. We are a happy crew in our office.
16. The crew were taken prisoners.
17. The majority of doctors agree that smoking is extremely harmful to health.
18. It was a majority decision.
19. A majority in Parliament forms the government.

Military = soldiers & the army

A collective noun takes a singular verb when the collection is thought of as a whole.

A collective noun takes a plural verb when the individuals of which it is composed are thought of.

There are various examples in the above sentences to justify the above mentioned two points. The learners have to understand the differences where to use the singular verb and where to use the plural verb.

Collective Nouns and Verbs

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