Grammar Tip: Collective Nouns
Do I use a singular or a plural verb with a collective noun? And what about when I want to use a pronoun to represent a collective noun? Do I use a singular or plural pronoun?
Well, first of all, let's consider what a collective noun is. It is a noun that represents a group or a collection of things. Words like police, family, government, and committee are some examples. When using collective nouns, it is important to think about whether they require a singular or plural verb. It also important to use a correct pronoun when substituting for a collective pronoun.
Here are two examples:
My class always listens to its teacher during the day.
Class is singular here, so I need to use the singular possessive pronoun (its).
My class always turn in their assignments on time.
In this instance, class is plural and I need to use a plural verb.
How do you know the difference? It all depends on whether the group is acting as one or as individuals.
To learn more about Collective Nouns , click here.
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