collective noun

(redirected from English collective noun)
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a noun that is singular in form but refers to a group of people or things

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References in periodicals archive ?
Verbal and pronominal singular plural oppositions for English collective nouns in The Independent 1995 (Levin 2001: 166) Verbs Relative pronouns Singular Plural Singular Plural n % n % n % n % government 345 94.
English differs from languages such as French, German, and Dutch in that English collective nouns can pattern with both a singular and a plural verb (the committee is/are).
Levin (2001) mentions other corpus studies on English collective nouns, but as is evident from his comments, those studies are not concerned with individual differences either.
A few exceptions such as couple notwithstanding, English collective nouns are usually followed by singular verbs.