Do you want to speak more fluent English? Learn to use collective nouns – special words we use to talk about groups of people, animals, or objects. This is an important English vocabulary lesson because a lot of these words will not make sense logically to you unless you know the meaning in this context already! Some of the collective nouns I'll teach you include: a batch of cookies, a deck of cards, a litter of kittens, an army of caterpillars, and more! Watch this video before the rhinos get me!
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Is it safe? Can I come out? Okay. Whew. Okay, I was just baking some cookies, but the strangest thing happened. A group of rhinos started chasing me, so now I'm just... I'm trying to escape, but I want to give you guys this very, very important English lesson first. So I'm going to put these down, and we're going to try to do this lesson before the rhinos come back. Okay? Okay, let me... Let me compose myself.
Hey, everyone. I'm Alex. Thanks for clicking, and welcome to this lesson on "Collective Nouns". So, collective nouns are nouns we use to talk about a group of things, animals, or people. Of course, it's possible just to say: "A group of", whatever. For example: "a group of birds" or "a group of kittens", but there are very specific names that we can give them and we do give them to make it a little more specific, I guess. Okay? So, I'm going to give you first some of the most common ones that we use, and then some that are a little less common.
So, to begin: I had "a batch of cookies" at the start of this lesson. So, if you are baking and you bake a lot of cookies like I did, you baked a batch of cookies. Okay? So you can say: "The first batch is ready." or "The second batch is in the oven." or "I made three batches of cookies."
All right, next: "a bouquet of flowers". I think many people probably know this one. So we just say: "Bouquet". Very French. Right? Very French. So, you can give a bouquet of flowers to your mother on Mother's Day, or to your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife on the anniversary or Valentine's Day.
Next: If you play poker, you need "a deck of cards". Right? It's not a group of cards. It is a group of cards, but we don't say: "Hey. Do you have a group of cards?" We say: "Do you have a deck of cards?" Okay?
Next: Birds, if you have many birds, a group of birds together, they are called: "a flock", "a flock of birds". Okay? In the 1980s there was a band called "Flock of Seagulls". A seagull is that white, annoying bird in public, and they had a famous song, "I Ran", went like: "And I ran, I ran so far away..." Doo, doo, doo, doo. Whatever the lyrics were. I don't remember them. So, "a flock of birds", "a flock of seagulls."
Next: For cows and buffalo, you can say: "a herd", "a herd of cattle", "a herd of buffalo".
If you have kittens, baby cats, baby dogs, you say: "a litter of kittens", "a litter of puppies". So, for example, in the movie 101 Dalmatians, a famous Disney movie where there are 101 baby puppies, baby Dalmatians, that is a litter of 101 puppies.
Next: "a pack of wolves", or dogs, or hounds. So, the movie, Frozen, very popular amongst young people, girls-my daughter loves it-there's a scene where Anna and Kristoff are escaping in the forest and behind them there are a bunch of wolves, a group of wolves, so you can say: "A pack of wolves is chasing them." All right?
Next: "a panel of judges" or "a panel of experts". If you watch TV shows, like The Voice, or American Idol, and you have one, two, three judges... Usually you have the nice one, and the annoying one, and the one who's really hard on people. This is a panel of judges. Okay? Or a panel of experts.
"A school of fish", so I'm going to tie this to movies again. If you have seen Finding Nemo, any time you see that big group of fish travelling together, that is called "a school of fish". Yes, just like go to school, the same thing. A school of fish.
And finally: "a wealth of information". Now, information is non-count. You cannot say: "One information, two informations, three informations". You can say: "A lot of information" or "A wealth of information".
All right. Let's look at some more on this side. A little less common, here. We have: "an army of caterpillars". It sounds really cool. Right? So, caterpillars become butterflies, but if you have a lot of caterpillars together, that's called "an army of caterpillars". I don't recommend you Google search "army of caterpillars", especially if you don't like insects because some of the pictures of the caterpillars all together, and being furry, and fuzzy, and... Uhgl. It's not very nice if you don't like insects. Also, "army" like: "an army of soldiers". Or in this case, on my shirt, an army of stormtroopers from Star Wars.