Collective Nouns and Nouns of Multitude - 10

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Collective Nouns and Nouns of Multitude.


We must distinguish the difference between a noun used in a collective sense and the same noun used to denote the individuals comprising a group. For instance, the word team may be a collective noun or a noun of a multitude.

1. If we say, The team was chosen by a committee, The word team is used as a collective whole.

2. But if we say, The team were all non-smokers, We are speaking of the individual members of the team.

In the first sentence team is a collective noun and requires a verb in the singular. In the second sentence team is a noun of multitude and takes a verb in the plural.

Examples:

As Collective Nouns.

1. The party is composed of men, women and children.
2. The police is a department of government that maintains public order.
3. A committee was formed to look after refugees.
4. The lowing herd winds slowly o’er (= over) the lea.
5. There was a struggle between the opposing cavalries.

As Nouns of Multitude.

1. The party were all killed by an avalanche.
2. Police are needed in all countries.
3. The committee were all of the same opinion.
4. The herd were mostly cows.
5. The cavalry numbered about a thousand.

Exercise. 
An army is a collection of soldiers. Give a name to a collection or group of:

1. Bees.
2. Books.
3. Cattle.
4. Colonists.
5. Cricketers.
6. Foot-soldiers.
7. Friends.
8. Horsemen.
9. Horses.
10. Judges.
11. Islands.
12. Mountains.
13. Players on musical instruments.
14. Robbers.
15. sailors.
16. School-girls.
17. Sheep.
18. Ships.
19. Singers.
20. Worshippers.

Exercise.
Give the meaning of the following Collective Nouns (a bunch is a collection of keys or flowers).

1. Board.
2. Brood.
3. Bundle.
4. Grove.
5. Cloud.
6. Course.
7. Heap.
8. Litter.
9. Pack.
10. Patrol.
11. Regiment.
12. Series.
13. Sheaf.
14. Shoal.
15. String.
16. Train.
17. Tribe.
18. Volley.

Exercise. 
Point out the Nouns in the following passages :

A. ‘Stop thief! stop thief!’ The tradesman leaves his counter, and the carman his waggon; the baker throws down his basket, the milkman his can, the errand-boy his parcels, the school-boy his marbles. Away they run, knocking down the passengers as they turn the corners; rousing up the dogs, and astonishing the fowls; and the streets re-echo with the sound.

B. Some years ago, when the Prime Minister of Nepal visited Calcutta, he brought down with him a Nepali escort which rather surprised people who thought of Nepalis as a small race with Mongolian faces. This escort consisted of men as tall as British Grenadiers, and their faces were Aryan. They belonged to what was called the Kalibahadur Regiment, and were drawn from members of the ruling race, who are Rajputs.

Exercise. 
Point out the Nouns in the following passage:

You watch figures in the fields, digging with spade or pickaxe. You see one of them from time to time straightening his loins, and wiping his face with the back of his hand. It is there that you must seek true humanity and great poetry. They say that I deny the charm of the country. I find in it more than charm,— I find infinite splendour. I see the sun as he spreads his glory among the clouds. None the less do I see, on the plain, the horses all smoking at the plough. I see in some stony corner a man all worn out, whose cough has been heard since daybreak, trying to stand up straight for a moment to get breath.

Exercise. 
Fill the blanks in the following sentences with Material Nouns used as Concrete Nouns:—

1. I drank two — of milk at breakfast.
2. This is a — I have never seen made into a suit.
3. You should use an — to write with which will not fade.
4. Take a — and wipe up that water quickly.
5. Shall we open a — of biscuits?
6. There is a — in that valley where panthers lurk.
7. Give the poor woman a few —.
8. Throw a — at these crows.
9. I am to read a — on Butterflies at the next meeting of the Science Club.
10. The children are playing on the — by the lake.

Exercise. 
Point out in the following sentences any Abstract Nouns used as Concrete Nouns:—

1. There is a redness in his cheeks which is very strange.
2. He will give a reading of his poems to the students.
3. I have a constant pain in my wrist.
4. Your little dog is a real beauty.
5. There has been a robbery in the hostel.
6. Spare a thought for me now and then.
7. He had not the wisdom to insure his life.
8. Many a truth is hidden in things we doubt.
9. The sunset last night was a wonderful sight.
10. When I get an opportunity I will send you an answer.
11. What a strange dream I had last night!
12. Have you sent a notice round about the meeting?
13. The colouring of that painting is not very attractive.
14. It will be a great pleasure to meet you.

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