Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Darte is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    1
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Collective Nouns Plural/Singular?

    Hi, would need some clarification regarding this.

    A pride of peacocks is showing off their lovely feathers now.

    A pride of peacocks are showing off their lovely feathers now.

    Inclined to believe that the second option is the right answer, but the case is that the first answer is correct due to A as a determiner.

    Help please? to justify the first sentence

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    22,730
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Collective Nouns Plural/Singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darte View Post
    Hi, would need some clarification regarding this.

    A pride of peacocks is showing off their lovely feathers now.

    A pride of peacocks are showing off their lovely feathers now.

    Inclined to believe that the second option is the right answer, but the case is that the first answer is correct due to A as a determiner.

    Help please? to justify the first sentence
    Welcome to the forums.
    The first one is not correct because of "their". "A pride of peacocks is showing off its..." and "A pride of peacocks are showing off their..." would both be correct, depending on whether you see the peacocks as a unit or as a collection of individual birds.

  3. #3
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    16,570
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Collective Nouns Plural/Singular?

    A collective noun is usually construed (in AmE) as singular. So, no, it's not the determiner. It's that a pride of peacocks is viewed as a unit. "The pride of peacocks" would be the same in that respect.


  4. #4
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    22,730
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Collective Nouns Plural/Singular?

    I should have specified that I was referring to BrE. It would seem to be necessary to do that more and more, there being so many differences between AmE and BrE as to almost constitute two languages.

  5. #5
    IHIVG's Avatar
    IHIVG is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    354
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Collective Nouns Plural/Singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    I should have specified that I was referring to BrE. It would seem to be necessary to do that more and more, there being so many differences between AmE and BrE as to almost constitute two languages.
    I always thought that apart from the idioms, slang and the accent, the difference is so negligible that one would hardly even notice it.
    Is there any chance of the Brittish not being able to understand Americans? Or Aussies or New Zealanders? I guess not...

  6. #6
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    22,730
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Collective Nouns Plural/Singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by IHIVG View Post
    I always thought that apart from the idioms, slang and the accent, the difference is so negligible that one would hardly even notice it.
    Is there any chance of the Brittish not being able to understand Americans? Or Aussies or New Zealanders? I guess not...
    Yes, there are many BrE speakers who find it difficult to understand Americans and also, I believe, AmE speakers who find British people difficult to understand. I think there is less of a problem understanding Australians and New Zealanders.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,401
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Collective Nouns Plural/Singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by IHIVG View Post
    I always thought that apart from the idioms, slang and the accent, the difference is so negligible that one would hardly even notice it.
    Some dialects can cause problems- British and American soldiers have had real difficulties understanding each other. British regional dialects and varieties in particular can be quite strong.

    With standard American and British English, there are a lot of little differences; in the areas you mention and also some grammatical ones, singular and plural noun/verb concord being one of those.

  8. #8
    IHIVG's Avatar
    IHIVG is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    354
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Collective Nouns Plural/Singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    With standard American and British English, there are a lot of little differences; in the areas you mention and also some grammatical ones, singular and plural noun/verb concord being one of those.
    Yes, I know there are some differences, but they don't seem to be much of a hindrance to communication, do they?

    I mean, putting the local dialects aside, my question is whether those little differences in both standard American and standard British English can cause problems and affect the understanding. From what I've seen people do understand each other well and can communicate as freely as they would do with their fellow countrymen.

    How often do you find it hard to understand someone from other part of the world?

    I find this whole English diversity subject really interesting; probably because I can't relate that to my language at all since it's pretty homogeneous no matter where you live (there's no such thing as 'different accents', let alone grammatical differences).

  9. #9
    IHIVG's Avatar
    IHIVG is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    354
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Collective Nouns Plural/Singular?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Yes, there are many BrE speakers who find it difficult to understand Americans and also, I believe, AmE speakers who find British people difficult to understand.
    Interesting! I think I understand both AmE and BrE pretty equally.
    For me it's mostly a matter of an accent, which, if you're not familiar with, could take some time to get used to.

Similar Threads

  1. considering collective nouns
    By Jaskin in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 19-Nov-2008, 09:27
  2. Collection of Collective Nouns
    By Shamik in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 17-Jun-2008, 15:34
  3. collective nouns
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 29-Jan-2008, 23:04
  4. [Tdol's Blog] Collective nouns
    By Tdol in forum UsingEnglish.com Content
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 25-Feb-2007, 13:09
  5. Words associated with Nouns... Collective Nouns?
    By Niall in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 14-Jan-2007, 18:56

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •