a crowda range of mountainsa deck of cardsa heap of booksan anthology of poemsa bunch the grapesa load of wolvesa swarm the beesa network that computers"a organize of gold daffodils" (as in Wordsworth"s poem)

The indigenous in italics in the above phrases are collective nouns. Why carry out we speak to them so? What is special about them? How can we recognize them?

What Are collective Nouns?

It is vital to psychic what they are and what they room not. In this way, you can avoid several confusion.

You are watching: What is a group of grapes called

Collective nouns are names that collections. They are not the name of the individuals in a collection.

The collections might be the people, places, or things.

See this examples:

crowd, orchestra — room names offered to collection of people;herd, swarm — room labels for collections of animals or other living things;union, federation — may be understood as collection of places; andbunch, heap — space words we use for collection of things.

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Mistaking the whole Phrase to it is in the cumulative Noun

Examples for collective nouns room usually teach in expression form:

a bunch the grapes, a swarm the bees, etc.

Those finding out English might tend come think the the entirety phrase as a collective noun. Please know that just the indigenous bunch and swarm room the collective nouns in the two phrases, no the entirety phrases. The indigenous "of grapes" and also "ofbees" are only specifications of bunch and swarm respectively.

Confusing the collection with the many of the elements in it

The plural of a grape is grapes. Words grape is the surname of an individual in the collection; and also the native grapes is the plural. The plural refers to plenty of separate individuals. I might count and also give ten different grapes to a boy without providing her a bunch.

What we contact a bunch is a complete entity in itself, though written of numerous individual items. The name bunch does no belong to any kind of of the individuals.

Therefore, bunch is a cumulative noun, however grapes is not.

Are cumulative Nouns Singular or Plural?

Observe these two sentences:

The staff works for 4 hours ~ above Saturdays.The staff are unhappy v the decision to do them work-related on Saturdays.

You will notice...

that the word staff in sentence 1 is singular. We understand this indigenous the verb i beg your pardon matches it (works is singular).The word employee in sentence 2 is plural. The verb are shows us this.

How can the very same word be singular at one time and also plural some other time?

Why is words staff supplied like this?

The brother System

In sentence 1 above, the employee is thought of together one collection. In sentence 2, we space thinking of the staff as a variety of human beings who are unhappy. This is really true to human being ways of thinking, also though that does no seem logical. (But human life has its very own deeper logic which us cannot constantly hold within the rule of the scientific research of logic.)


This is the british English heritage which us in India have actually been following and which is dear come me due to the fact that I learnt it as a child. You might need to feeling what is gift emphasized in a details context even if it is the particular collective noun is looked upon as a totality or as parts put together.

The American System

But below is a no-complication system. This is obviously logical (i.e. Follow to rule of logic). In this system, the over sentences are rewritten together follows:

The staff works for 4 hours ~ above Saturdays. (no change)The members that the staff are unhappy v the decision to do them work-related on Saturdays.

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When you create the sentence in this way, the cumulative noun employee is singular because it is a single collection that people. In sentence 2, members is a plural word for the variety of individuals within the collection. This is the choice of American English. I favor this second approach for to teach my students around collective nouns.