Collective & Compound Nouns

download Collective & Compound Nouns

of 31

  • date post

  • Category


  • view

  • download


Embed Size (px)


This is another part of the series on "Nouns". This is all about compound and collective nouns. This is good for in class use or at your home. It has exercises to go along and work sheets the you can download also.

Transcript of Collective & Compound Nouns

  • Nouns Collective & Compound
  • Collective Nouns Compound Nouns
  • Collective nouns name a group or collection of people or things that are taken together and spoken of as one whole. The big question with collective nouns is whether they should be treated as singular or plural. The answer is: They can be treated as singular or plural depending on the sense of your sentence. This is covered in more depth in the lesson Collective Nouns Singular or Plural? and in the Beware section on the right of this page. Collective Nouns
  • Collective Noun Singular or Plural? A collective noun can be singular or plural depending on the sense of the sentence. In the first example below, the shoal is considered as one unit. Therefore, shoal is considered singular. However, in the second example, the shoal is considered as lots of individuals, and shoal is considered plural. Examples: The shoal was moving north. (singular considered as one unit) The shoal were darting in all directions. (plural considered as individuals) As far as I am concerned, Marylebone Cricket Club still has nineteenth- century values and standards.
  • Add a Word to Avoid the Issue To simplify matters, a word for the individuals within the group can be introduced. In the first example below, it is necessary to decide whether the collective noun jury should be singular or plural. However, by adding members of, you are forced to use a plural verb. Examples: The jury is/are to convene at 4 o'clock. (A decision is required: Is jury singular or plural?) The members of the jury are to convene at 4 o'clock. (no decision required the word members is plural) A complete list of collective nouns can be found here. Or list-docx-21k?da=y
  • Try the quiz on the next few slides. It is good practice for you or your students. Choose the correct collective noun some could have 2 possible answers. So becareful. * Description/Instructions A collective noun names a group of people, animals, or things. The whole group is one unit even though you could count the individual members of the group. A collective noun takes a singular verb.
  • 1. The jury took a long time to reach a verdict. A: jury B: time C: verdict 2. The army was on the march for several days. A: march B: army C: days Check Answer Next
  • 3. The audience rose and applauded the performance. A: performance B: audience 4. The band played five numbers before they took a break. A: break B: numbers C: band 5. The team played as hard as they could, but they just couldn't score a goal. A: goal B: team Check Answer Next
  • 6. A majority of the students in Ms. Baker's class got on the honor roll. A: students B: class C: roll D: majority 7. The cast had a party after the show was over. A: party B: cast C: show 8. The company laid off a lot of workers, including my dad. A: dad B: company C: workers Check Answer Next
  • 9. That gang is trying to get Josh to join, but he doesn't want to be a part of it. A: gang B: Josh C: part 10. The school choir performed at the all-city talent show. A: show B: choir 11. Miranda's family is going to Disneyland this summer. A: summer B: Disneyland C: family Check Answer Next
  • 12. The whole school is attending an assembly right now. A: school B: assembly 13. The senate will be voting on the education bill tomorrow. A: bill B: senate 14. There will be two new teachers on the faculty next year. A: year B: faculty C: teachers 15. The flock of sheep scattered when a wolf entered their pasture. A: sheep B: flock C: pasture D: wolf Check Answer Next
  • Compound Nouns A compound noun is a noun that is made with two or more words. A compound noun is usually [noun + noun] or [adjective + noun], but there are other combinations (see below). It is important to understand and recognize compound nouns. Each compound noun acts as a single unit and can be modified by adjectives and other nouns.
  • Single word open Pro- nunciation Plural Forms Exercise British American hyphenated Compound Nouns
  • Single Word Some compound nouns are single words. For example: noun-noun compound: tooth + paste toothpaste noun-noun compound: day + dream daydream adjective-noun compound: black + bird blackbird verb-noun compound: wash + room washroom noun-verb compound: breast + feeding breastfeeding adjective-verb compound: high + light highlight verb-preposition compound: break + up breakup preposition-verb compound: out + break outbreak
  • Open Some compound nouns are multiple word noun phrases. The word or words that precedes or follows the noun functioning as the noun phrase head functions as a noun phrase modifier or a noun phrase complement. For example: table cloth lawn tennis piano player post office swimming pool air-raid siren secretary of state Queen of England Multiple word compound nouns are noun phrases rather than true nouns.
  • Hyphenated Other compound nouns are single words that contain hyphens. For example: mother-in-law commander-in-chief cul-de-sac master-at-arms jack-in-the-box free-for-all six-pack single-mindedness
  • Use a Hyphen to Eliminate Ambiguity There are no specific rules on forming compound nouns. For example, ink-well can be also be written ink well or inkwell all are correct spellings. However, you should use a hyphen to eliminate ambiguity. Ambiguity is particularly prevalent when the first word of the pairing is a substance (like water or ink). Examples: water-bottle / water bottle (When the first word is a substance, a hyphen is used to show that the item is not made of that substance.) ice-axe / ice axe (Both are acceptable, but ice-axe makes it clear that the axe is not made of ice.)
  • paper-clip / paper clip / paperclip (All 3 are acceptable. However, if the clip were made of paper, then only paper clip could be used.) Please could you pass me that plastic wire-fastener? (a fastener made of plastic, i.e., not wire) There is also some ambiguity when the first word of the pairing ends ing. (This is called a present participle.) Examples: changing-room / changing room (Both are acceptable, but changing-room makes it clear that the room is not changing.) laughing-gas / laughing gas (Both are acceptable, but laughing-gas makes it clear that the gas is not laughing.)
  • NOT ALL HAVE A ONE-WORD VERSION Be aware that not all compound nouns have a one-word version. Even though inkwell and paperclip are fine, iceaxe and waterbottle are spelling mistakes. There are no rules governing this you have to know.
  • Pronunciation Compound nouns tend to have more stress on the first word. In the phrase "pink ball", both words are equally stressed (as you know, adjectives and nouns are always stressed). In the compound noun "golf ball", the first word is stressed more (even though both words are nouns, and nouns are always stressed). Since "golf ball" is a compound noun we consider it as a single noun and so it has a single main stress - on the first word. Stress is important in compound nouns. For example, it helps us know if somebody said "a GREEN HOUSE" (a house which is painted green) or "a GREENhouse" (a building made of glass for growing plants inside).
  • British / American differences Different varieties of English, and even different writers, may use the open, hyphenated or closed form for the same compound noun. It is partly a matter of style. There are no definite rules. For example we can find: container ship container-ship containership If you are not sure which form to use, please check in a good dictionary. My recommendations:
  • Here are some examples of compound nouns: noun + noun bus stop Is this the bus stop for the number 12 bus? fire-fly In the tropics you can see fire-flies at night. football Shall we play football today? adjective + noun full moon I always feel crazy at full moon. blackboard Clean the blackboard please. software I can't install this software on my PC. verb(-ing) + noun breakfast We always eat breakfast at 8am. washing machine Put the clothes in the red washing machine. swimming pool What a beautiful swimming pool! noun + verb(-ing) sunrise I like to get up at sunrise. haircut You need a haircut. train-spotting His hobby is train-spotting. verb + preposition check-out Please remember that check-out is at 12 noon. noun + prepositional phrase mother-in-law My mother-in-law lives with