Can someone tell me the criteria for a noun to qualify as an aggregate noun and a collective noun. Kindly define both of them.
Full Member450
Collective nouns - words which describe a group of objects.

example - a bunch of keys (bunch is the collective noun), pride of lions (pride is the collective noun)

Aggregate nouns - words comprising of an indefinite number of parts

example - goods, data

Aggregate nouns, unlike collective nouns, use plural verbs and cannot be used with 'a' or 'an'.
Contributing Member1,667
Thanx Benita. You made my life a bit easy. I had asked this question from many people on this forum but no one ever answered me. I don't know why; may be it wasn't much important to people. Whatever, thanx a lot.
But stiil there is a problem. If you visit the following page, you'll see a list of agreegate nouns that have been classified into singular and plural forms. The rule you described about the indefinite articles works fine with the plural forms of the nouns but it seems a bit shacky with the singular forms.

Please explain is there any other way to identify aggregate nouns.

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Hi Grammarian-bot,

I looked at the site you listed. Some of the words "look" singular but they are aggregatae and take a plural verb. There has been heated debate (twice!) on this site about whether "police" takes a plural or singular verb, but the site you referene shoes that police, like cattle, swine, clergy, etc., all take the plural verb.

I don't have a good way to help you identify which words are aggregate nouns - I wish I did, but I think you just have to learn them.

Can you be more specific about your questions regarding them?
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Well actually I wanted to know a way to verify that a given word is an aggregate or a collective noun (as benita identified - the use of a and an with collective nouns and not with aggregate nouns). But it's OK. These words are not too difficult to learn.