Collective nouns also present challenges in subject-verb agreement. A collective noun names a group of people or things. Examples of collective nouns you often hear in school are class, committee, team, audience, and club.

Watch this video to learn more collective nouns.

Circling back to the previous section and the German Shepherds, which would gather in packs, we’re reminded that not all animals congregate in such humdrum collective nouns. What about a peep of chickens, a shrewdness of apes, an obstinacy of buffalo, a murder of crows, or a pandemonium of parrots? Maybe you know some others, but we’ll limit ourselves to these examples. Here are some tips to make working with collective nouns less tricky:

Photo of a pack of wolves on frozen, icy land

Source: Yellowstone Wolves, Doug Smith, Wikimedia

The pack of wolves plays happily.
The pack of wolves drinks from several creeks.

The sentence above suggests that the wolves are drinking individually (i.e., each one drinking separately) and are not acting in unison.

The members of the team turned in their pompoms.
The wolf which had been running away from the hunters stood still.
The pack of wolves stands tall.

For a good review of subject-verb agreement, watch this video.