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07 Jan, 2016

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Practical English Learning – II

(Saturday Night study – Content for Competitive exams)


The behavior of nouns can be studied on the basis of their types.

Type 1: This type comprises nouns which are generally used in the plural. A list of such nouns is given below:

1.        Riches

2.        Goods

3.        Spectacles

4.        Drawers

5.        Binoculars

6.        Proceeds

7.        Odds

8.        Movables

9.        Wages

10.   Thanks

11.   Annals

12.   Trousers

13.   Premises

14.   Socks

15.   Fetters

16.   Shorts

17.   Pantaloons

18.   Tidings

19.   Eatables

20.   Scissors

21.   Stockings

22.   Surroundings

23.   Breeches

24.   Arms (weapons)

25.   Tongs

26.   Eaves

27.   Alms

28.        Bellows

29.        Pincers

30.        Shears

31.        Bowels

32.        Trappings

33.        Pants

34.        Nuptials

35.        Valuables

36.        Pliers


Type I Examples:

(a)   Riches have wings.

Riches in the above sentence, means wealth and not many rich men. Riches being a plural noun takes a plural verb.

Examples :

(b) Kindly give me a scissor. (Incorrect)

Kindly give me a pair of scissors.        (Correct)

(c) My spectacles have been broken.

Here, we have used spectacles in plural.

(c)   My spectacles have been broken.

Here, we have used spectacles in plural.


This group comprises nouns that look like plural, but are used in singular. A list of such nouns is given below:

  • Mathematics
  • Statistics
  • Economics
  • Politics
  • Gymnastics
  • Mechanics
  • Physics
  • News
  • Innings
  • Rickets
  • Gallows
  • Summons
  • Billiards
  • Mumps
  • Measles


  • Mathematics are a difficult subject. (Incorrect)
    Mathematics is a difficult subject.       (Correct)
    Note: Mathematics
    looks like plural but, in fact, it is So, we cannot use a plural verb with it.
  • Politics are a game of compromise.         (Incorrect)
    Politics is a game of compromise. (Correct)
  • These news were broadcast from All India Radio only yesterday. (Incorrect)

This news was broadcast from All India Radio only yesterday.    (Correct)

  • Economics are his favourite subject. (Incorrect)
    Economics is his favourite subject. (Correct)
  • Measles are (Incorrect)
    Measles is infectious.                            (Correct)


Type III

This group is a family of collective nouns. These nouns are singular in form but are generally used us plural. Some such nouns arc listed below:

  • Gentry
  • People
  • Police
  • Clergy
  • Vermin
  • Public*
  • Cattle
  • Peasantry
  • Folk
  • Mankind
  • Poultry
  • Jury
  • Army
  • Flock

* Generally public is followed by singular verb but it can be used with plural verb. However, this practice is not common.


  • The public is aware of the fact. (Incorrect)
    The public are aware of the fact. (Correct)
  • The cattle is grazing in the field. (Incorrect)
    The cattle are grazing in the field. (Correct)
  • Peoples should be loyal to their nation. (Incorrect)
    People should be loyal to their nation. (Correct)


There are some collective Nouns which are used as singular:

  • The army was ordered to open fire on terrorists.
  • The jury was unanimous in its opinion (one undivided whole)
  • The jury were divided in their opinion, (here noun of multitude denotes the individuals of the group; and
    hence verb is plural although the noun is singular)


Learn More Type of Nouns and its usage in the next post.

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