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B2 First (First Certificate in English)
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Examens : décembre 2018
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David’s wife is mad at him because he forgot her birthday. David saves his skin. ‘Sweetheart,’ he says. ‘How do you expect me to remember your birthday when you never look any older?’
Joke vocabulary :
To be mad at someone : to be furious with someone
To save your skin : sauver sa peau (fr)
The collective noun : singular or plural ?
What is a collective noun ? Army, class, committee team and jury are collective nouns. An army, a class and a team is composed of several members.
When is a collective noun followed by the singular form ?
When all members of the group do the same action at the same time.
. The class always listens to what the teacher says. (All the pupils are very studious)
. My FCE class is doing a mock exam tonight. (All the students are doing the same task)
. The committee was against the proposition. (All the members were against the proposition)
. The Orcs (Lord of The Rings/The Hobbit) army is very aggressive. (Nice orcs don't exist, they are horrible-looking and brutal !)
When is a collective noun followed by the plural form ?
When members of the group are acting as individuals.
. The team were running in all directions. (There was no unity in the team)
. The committee often disagree about how to spend the budget. (The committee members have different opinions)
If you find any of the above confusing, just use the words « members » after the nouns mentioned. In this case, you will always use the plural form.