Collective Nouns

by on October 3rd, 2009

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Which is correct?

  • The Talking Heads need to find themselves a new frontman?
  • The Talking Heads needs to find itself a new frontman?

2 comments

  • Hi!
    So, the sentence "the black bears are remarkably strong climbers" when used in the generic sense is wrong?

    • Absolutely! That sentence is grammatically correct only if one is referring to a specific set (indicated by the definite article "the") of black bears (a plural noun). The sentence would not refer to the "black bear" as a species, in the generic sense (a singular noun).

      Keep in mind that when you are indeed referring to the species, the noun itself is expressed in its singular form with the definite article preceding:

      "The black bear is a remarkably strong climber."

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