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Собирательные существительные


Ø Существительные, обозначающие группы предметов или лиц, рассматриваемых как единое целое называются собирательными: class, army, party, group, family, crew, herd.

My family is small.

There was a good crew on that ship.

Эти же существительные могут рассматриваться не как название единого целого, а как название группы лиц или предметов, которых два, три и больше:

We entered the room, my family were all sitting at the table. (все члены моей семьи).

The company were entering the theatre through different doors.


Следующие существительные в английском языке употребляются только как существительные множественности: police, cattle, poultry

Глагол после таких существительных всегда стоит в форме множественного числа, перед ним может стоять определённый артикль.

The police have surrounded the building.

The cattle are grazing, their heads never rising.


Exercise 1. Write the countable and uncountable nouns into two different columns.

Wool, air, airship, word, aviation, assistance, assistant, paper (бумага), paper (газета), hour, bread, darkness, water, sea, cheese, happiness, event, glass (стекло), glass (стакан), hero, sand, music, piano, friend, friendship, quickness, tobacco, cigarette, copper, armchair, coffee, ship, coin, university, money, ink, banknote, meat, silver, watch, timber, tree, idea, ice, furniture, chalk, heat, cow, milk, butter, horse, obligation, machine, equipment, instrument, speed, umbrella.

Exercise 2.Write the following nouns in plural form.

Place, library, language, dress, fly, watch, clock, country, eye, bus, bush, party, ray, thief, company, Negro, mass, leaf, wolf, glass, key, fox, half, life, day, play, factory, city, colony, roof, month, opportunity, journey, shelf, hero.

Man, woman, tooth, foot, goose, child, mouse.

Postman, son-in-law, editor-in-chief, fisherman, schoolgirl, sister-in-law, text-book, pocket-knife, passer-by, statesman.


Exercise 3. Change the number of the noun in italic type where possible and make all other necessary changes.


1. Put thebox on the shelf. 2. I have hurt my foot. 3. This is an English dictionary. 4. Where is the knife? 5. This factoryhas a good laboratory. 6 The lastleaf fell from thetree. 7. This story is very long. 8. The speech was very interesting. 9. He left the key on the table. 10. Where is the brush? 11. I like his new play. 12. The roofof the house was covered with snow. 13. Thewife of the sailorcame to the shore. 14. A copyof the contract was sent to Leningrad. 15. I saw a mouse in the kitchen. 16. The ox drove a cart of hay. 17. A very strange phenomenon was observed by astronomers yesterday.18. Her hair was soft and curly. 19. My aunt has a goose.


1. Women and childrencame to the shore. 2. Thekeys to the boxes were lost. 3. The wolves have been shot. 4. The mice were caught. 5. These factories produce furniture. 6. Copies of these letters will be sent to Moscow. 7. The cargoes will be discharged to-morrow. 8. The mice live behind the stove. 9. We have good postmen in our area. 10. The fish were caught. 10. The cargoes will be discharged tomorrow.

Exercise 4. Choose between a singular or plural verb to use it in the following sentences.

1. All the family (to be) gathered to see the dog. 2. Monty’s family (to be) of about the same social status as my own. 3. Everybody says that the Swiss police (to be) great at finding people. 4. When he came the baseball team (to practice) on the school field. 5. The team (to have) baths at the moment and then (to come) back to the tea. 6. The team (to play) tomorrow morning. 7. The Government (to discuss) the matter for a long time but they have shown no signs of reaching agreement. 8. The Government (to decide) to pass the bill. 9. That day the committee (to be) competent enough to consider the project. 10. The board (to be) extraordinary kind to you. 11. The board (to be) going to consider your application at the next sitting. 12. You’ve bought yourself a nice car. Your money (to be) well spent. 13. His advice (to be) always useful for me.


Exercise 5. Some of the sentences are right and some are wrong. Correct the sentences that are wrong.

1. She is a nice girl.

2. Many womans work nowadays.

3. Put the boxes on the shelfs.

4. The boy had two tooth pulled out.

5. The childs were crying over the broken toys.

6. I saw a mice in the kitchen.

7. There were yellow leafs on the ground.

8. I saw many deer in the North and my father caught a lot of fish.

9. Our team has already played two matchs.

10. There are twelve boies and fifteen girles in our class.

11. You can take the money. They are on the table.

12. My brother works in a shoes shop.

13. Two man-servants entered the room.

Exercise 6. Use these collective nouns to complete the sentences that follow.

audience crew enemy family gang government public staff team group police flock


1. Take cover. The enemy are attacking.

2. Do you think Liverpool are the best …………… in Europe?

3. Dad is out but the rest of the …………….. are at home.

4. The …………….. has decided to increase taxes.

5. The ship sank but the ………… are safe.

6. The office is closed. The …………… are on strike.

7. A ………… of sheep is coming down the hill.

8. The house was surrounded and the …………… were arrested.

9. The ………… is much bigger than at last night’s performance.

10. The railways should provide a better service for the travelling ………. .

11. The …………. were trying to control the mob.

12. Our little …………. is complete again.

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