BBC Learning English 英语教学




Collective nouns 集合名词用法小窍门



在英语中, “family(家庭)”、“team(团队)”、“staff(全体成员)” 都属于 “collective nouns(集合名词)”。表示一组人或事物的词语即可被称为 “collective nouns(集合名词)”。集合名词看似抽象难懂,其实不然。“一分钟英语” 将教你如何将这个知识点化繁为简。



Hi, I'm Dan from BBC Learning English and today I'm going to tell you something about collective nouns.

Collective nouns are often called group nouns. That is because they represent a number of things together. Examples are: government, family and team.

So, what's the big deal?

The special thing about these collective nouns is that they can be singular or plural.

If you consider your family to be a group of individuals, then the pronoun is 'they' and the verb is plural. My family are happy.

But your family can also be considered as a single unit, a machine that all works together. In this case, the pronoun is 'it' and the verb is singular. My family is happy.

This does not apply to all collective nouns, so be careful. Police and staff are always plural.


A secret about collective nouns

Collective nouns are also called group nouns. Their function is to refer to a number of things or people as one unit. Some of these group nouns can be singular or plural – both are correct and the choice is up to the speaker.
集合名词在英语中既可以被称为 “collective nouns”,也可以被称为 “group nouns”。它用来指代一组事物或一群人。集合名词可以是单数,也可以是复数,两者都正确,用哪个由说话者来选择。

Government 政府

Family 家庭、家人

Team 团队

(1)Be careful
Not all collective nouns act in this way. Some are always plural.

The police are coming.

The staff are tired.

(2)A group of individuals
These nouns can be considered a group of individuals - a football team has 11 individual players. In this case, the pronoun is they and the verb form is plural.
以下这些名词可以被视为是一个由个体组成的集合。比如:一支足球队有11名球员。在这种情况下,代词用 “they”,谓语动词是复数。

My football team are the best. They are unbeatable.

The government plan to raise taxes. They are always doing that.

My family are happy. They never have any problems.

(3)A unit
These nouns can also be considered a unit - even though they have individual parts, they function together in unison. In this case, the pronoun is it and the verb form is singular.
以下这些名词也可以被视为是一个单位,尽管它是由不同的个体部分组成,但功能相同,目标一致。在这种情况下,代词用 “it”,谓语动词是单数。 

My football team is the best. It is unbeatable.

The government plans to raise taxes. It is always doing that.

My family is happy. It never has any problems.

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