Collective Nouns. Collective Noun in the English Language

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We named Collective Nouns the group of nouns that refers to a class or group of something it can be a group of person, class of animals or even things. We call Collective Noun the group of nouns that refer to a class or group of something, which can be a group of people, classes of animals or things.

One interesting thing about collective noun is that it came mainly by poetry, actually, there isn't any scientific research about it that proves why it should be used. It started to be used by the writers, poets ones, that used their imagination to create most of the collective nouns. An interesting thing about collective nouns in English is that they came into existence mainly through poetry, in fact, there is no scientific research on the proof of its use. These nouns began to be used by writers and poets, who used their imagination to create most of them.

The collective nouns for animals started to be formed from early to late Medieval English times. There isn't certainly about its beginning, but the grammar studies about it say that the terms used for the most of them came fro

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m 15thcentury. With the influence of the French and English hunting traditions, because hunting was a common practice between them and then with the animals actions observation they (people from that time) was creating names and terms for animal's habits. These terms received a name of Terms of Venery and became a list of names that in the 1500s was updated with 165 items long. Collective nouns for animals began to be formed in early to late medieval English. There is no certainty for its beginning, but grammatical studies on the subject say that the beginning of the use of these terms dates back to the 15th century. With the influence of France and traditional English hunting, as hunting was a very common practice among them, and with the observation of the habits of animals (made by the people of that time) names and terms were created for these habits. These terms were named *Terms of Venery (Terms of = Terms of / Venery = Old English means: hunting, sport, art of hunting) and became a list of names that was updated in the 15th century with over 165 items.

Now that we already know a little about Collective Nouns, let's see some examples of each category of those we have in English: Now that we know a little about Collective Nouns, let's see some examples of each category that exists in English:

For humans: / For humans:

People = a group composition of person.

People = a group made up of people.

Family = a social group of parents, children and relatives.

Family = a social group formed by parents, children and relatives.

Crew = all the people who work together

Team / crew = all people working together.

Gang = a group of people who are friendly with each other or are involved in the same activity.

Gang = a group of people who are friends or who are involved in the same activity.

Team = a number of people who act together as a group.

Team = a number of people who act together as a group.

Actors = company, troupe, cast.

Actors = company, troupe, cast.

Candidates = slate

Candidates = candidate list

Experts = panel

experts = group

Some examples: / Some examples:

1- There are a lot of people fighting for this cause together. / There are many people fighting for this cause together.

2- We're a team, and we'll win this game! / We are one team, and we will win this game!

3- I love the cast of the movie Pride and Prejudice, they're all fantastic, they gave life to the characters from the book. / I love him cast from the movie Pride and Prejudice, they are fantastic, they brought the characters in the book to life.

4- My brother is expert in technologies. / My Brother is specialist in technology.

for animals: / For animals:

Sheep = A flock of sheep

sheep = a flock of sheep

Cow = A herd of cattle

cow = a herd of cows

bees = swarm

bees = swarm

beavers = colony

beavers = colony

bats = colony

bats = colony

Apes = troop

Monkeys, chimpanzee = troop

fish = school

fish = school

elephant = herd

elephant = herd

camels = caravan

camels = caravan

dogs = pack

dogs = pack

Ants = colony

Ants = colony

Cats = cloudder

cats = group

birds = flock

birds = flock

Some examples: / Some examples:

1- A flocks of birds are flying north. / One gang of birds are flying to the north.

2- There was a caravan of camels here before you arrive. / There was one caravan of camels here before you arrive.

3- I have a clowder of cats at my house. / I have one group of cats in my house.

4- My uncle has a herd of cattle in his farm. / my uncle has a flock of cows on your farm.

For things / Objects: / For things / objects:

pile

Battery

ring of keys

Bunch of keys

Library

Library

Fleet

Fleet

constellation

Constellation

Bunch of flowers

bouquet of flowers

bouquet

Bouquet

the collection

a collection

Some examples: / Some examples:

1 -You need to organize this pile of paper in your table. / You need to organize this battery of paper on your desk.

2 - My sister has a ring of keys. / My sister has a bunch of keys.

3- My dream is have my own library at home! / My dream is to have my own library at home.

4- I love to look at the sky, I love to see the moon and admire it's beauty, today we can see many constellation! / I love looking at the sky, I love looking at the moon and admiring its beauty, today we can see many constellations!


By Janaína Mourão
Graduated in Letters - English

Source: Brazil School - https://brasilescola.uol.com.br/ingles/collective-noun.htm

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