Difference Between Common Noun and Collective Noun

Main Difference – Common Noun vs  Collective Noun

Nouns can be defined as words that name people, places, and things. Common Nouns and Collective Nouns are two categories of nouns. The main difference between a common noun and a collective noun is that a common noun denotes a class of objects or a concept as opposed to a particular individual whereas a collective noun denotes a group of people, animals, objects or concepts as a single entity.

What is a Common Noun

Nouns can be divided into two basic categories: Common nouns and proper nouns. Common nouns name people, places, things or ideas that are not specific. In other words, they refer to general names. For example, words like girl, boy, man, woman, bird, lion, road, computer, book, etc. all fall into the category of common nouns.

We can see common nouns everywhere even if we do not realize it. Look at the image below and see if you can identify the common nouns in it.Main Difference - Common Noun vs Collective Noun

Clock, table, chairs, telephone, window, cupboard, fireplace, television, radio, pot plant and plate are some of the common nouns that can be found in this image.

Proper nouns are opposite of common nouns; they name specific names. Every proper noun has an equivalent common noun. For example,

Common Noun  Proper Noun   
Country India, France
City Paris, Colombo
Boy Pierre, Adam
Jeans Levi’s

What is a Collective Noun

A collective noun is a special class of that refers to a collection of items taken as a whole. It denotes a group of people, animals, objects or concepts as a single entity. Some examples of collective nouns include,

Flock, crowd, group, team, herd, parliament, dozen, committee, jury, troupe, pack, band, bouquet, gang

Collective nouns can be treated as a singular or plural depending on the context. A collective noun can be considered singular if the individual members in the collection are behaving in unison with each other. If the members within the collection are behaving differently, the collective noun can be treated as plural. But collective nouns are more commonly used as singular nouns.


A troupe of dancers performed at the carnival.

He bought a dozen of eggs.

The final decision lies with the board of directors.

A gang of thieves has broken into the museum and stolen paintings worth 2 billion.

Difference Between Common Noun and Collective Noun

A herd of elephants is drinking water at the waterhole.

Difference Between Common Noun and Collective Noun


Common Noun is a  noun that denotes a class of objects or a concept as opposed to a particular individual.

Collective Noun is a noun that denotes a group of people, animals, objects or concepts as a single entity.


Common Noun can refer to people, places or things in general.

Collective Nouns refer to a group made of people or things.

Singular vs Plural                    

Common Nouns can be either singular or plural.

Collective Nouns are commonly treated as singular.

Individual Units

Common Nouns refers to individual units.

Collective Nouns are a collection that can be treated as individual units.Difference Between Common Noun and Collective Noun - infographic

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