在英語中, 「family（家庭）」、「team（團隊）」、「staff（全體成員）」 都屬於 「collective nouns（集合名詞）」。表示一組人或事物的詞語即可被稱為 「collective nouns（集合名詞）」。集合名詞看似抽象難懂，其實不然。「一分鐘英語」 將教你如何將這個知識點化繁為簡。
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.
集合名詞在英語中既可以被稱為 「collective nouns」，也可以被稱為 「group nouns」。它用來指代一組事物或一群人。集合名詞可以是單數，也可以是複數，兩者都正確，用哪個由說話者來選擇。
- Government 政府
- Family 家庭、家人
- Team 團隊
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.
- 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.
- 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.