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What Are Collective Nouns? Examples and Rules


Collective nouns are names for a group of people, animals, or objects. The Words like group, Team, and folks are examples of collective nouns. In this article, we’ll look at what are collective nouns and how you can use them in your writing!

What is a Collective Noun?

A collective noun is a type of noun that describes a group of people, animals, or objects as one unit. For example, the word “team” is a collective noun describing a group of people as a single entity. Some examples of collective nouns are:

  • The flock of birds
  • The herd of cows
  • The army at war
  • The team is happy about their win.
  • The crowd was really excited about this game.

Collective Nouns are Usually Treated as Singular.

It’s important to remember that collective nouns are usually treated as singular. This means that if you want to say “the family,” you would have to use the word “family” and not “families.”

For example: “The crowd cheered the politician.” In this case, the word “crowd” is a collective noun and should be treated like one when used in this way.

What are some examples of collective nouns?

Here are some common examples of collective nouns:

  • Crowd – it is used to describe a group of people.
  • Swarm–  A group of flying insects.
  • Shoal– A group of fish swimming together.
  • Group – A very general term used to describe a number of people together. 
  • Gang – A group of criminals; also used to describe co-workers.
  • Herd– Large group of herbivore animals living together.
  • Staff – Usually used to refer to a group of people who work in the same place.
  • Crew –A group of co-workers; also used to describe people working on and operating a ship and aircraft.
  • Stack – A group of items or things; i.e., a stack of books.
  • Orchestra – A large group of musicians, led by an individual conductor.
  • Panel – A group of experts or a number of software in one place.
  • Troupe – A group of actors or dancers; also used to describe a group of entertainers.
  • Bunch – Usually a group of the same kind of things such as flowers, keys, or bananas.
  • Flock– A group of animals like birds, sheep, or goats.
  • Set – A group of the same kinds of objects such as dishes.
  • Series – Usually a group of events or movies, i.e. Stranger Things or Harry Potter

How do you use collective nouns in a sentence?

You can use collective nouns in any number of ways.

  • They act as singular nouns and adjectives. If the word “team” is a collective, it means that there are many teams in your workplace or school, not one team (or “a team”).
  • They can be used with a singular verb: “The kids on my soccer team are great.” Or you could say “My soccer team is great.” The same thing works for all other types of collective nouns such as “the family” and “the class.”
  • Collective pronouns work just like personal pronouns do when they refer back to someone specific (i.e., I), but instead of saying something like “me,” we would say “we”: “We had fun at home last night!” This way we’re talking about how everyone feels about things happening around them collectively instead of individually—like how much fun everyone had playing together!


The most important thing to remember about collective nouns is that they can be singular or plural. You use a singular verb with a singular collective noun, and you use a plural verb with a plural collective noun. For example: “The group is expensive.” Or: “Groups are expensive.”