Are collective nouns singular or plural?

Collective nouns are most commonly treated as singular (e.g., “the herd is grazing”), but usage differs between US and UK English:

  • In US English, it’s standard to treat all collective nouns as singular, even when they are plural in appearance (e.g., “The Rolling Stones is …”). Using the plural form is usually seen as incorrect.
  • In UK English, collective nouns can be treated as singular or plural depending on context. It’s quite common to use the plural form, especially when the noun looks plural (e.g., “The Rolling Stones are …”).