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Quiz: Collective Nouns

Can you put each of these collective nouns in the right sentence below? You must use each noun once only.

pack | herd | fleet | suite | audience | crowd

1. The farmer moved his __________ of cows to higher ground to avoid the flood.

2. The President and his staff had a __________ of rooms on the top floor.

3. After the concert the __________ clapped loudly.

4. It was difficult to move because there were so many people in the __________.

5. Which navy has the biggest __________ in the world?

6. The casino uses a new __________ of cards for each game.

See Comments for answers.

The Sick Rose

O Rose, thou art sick!

The invisible worm,

That flies in the night,

In the howling storm,

Has found out thy bed

Of crimson joy;

And his dark secret love

Does thy life destroy.

William Blake 1757-1827

So the question is: What is “the invisible worm that flies in the night”?

Advice or advise?

Advice is a noun:

  • He did not accept my advice.

Advise is a verb:

  • The doctor advised her to stop work.

Stationery or stationary?

A stationer sells stationery (writing paper, envelopes and other office materials).

  • You’ll find some envelopes in the stationery cupboard.

Stationary is an adjective meaning “not moving”.

  • The car hit a stationary bus.

Practice or practise?

In American English “practice” is a verb and a noun:

I need more practice before I do the exam. Can I practice my English with you?

In British English “practice” is a noun and the verb is “practise”:

I need more practice before I do the exam. Can I practise my English with you?

Do I write its or it’s?

Actually, it’s very easy.

It’s is always short for “it is” or “it has”.

  • It is snowing. It’s snowing.
  • It has finished. It’s finished.
  • It has got 6 wheels. It’s got 6 wheels.

Its means “belonging to it” and is a possessive pronoun like “his”.

  • Turn the box on its side,
  • Did you see its registration number?
  • Its atmosphere is romantic.

100 commonest English words

Based on evidence from the billion-word Oxford English Corpus, Oxford have identified the hundred commonest English words found in writing globally:

1. the
2. be
3. to
4. of
5. and
6. a
7. in


Here’s an economical word 😉 It means two mutually-exclusive thing at once:

1. twice a month

2. once every two months

In fact, the meaning of “bimonthly” (and similar words like “biweekly” and “biyearly”) is ambiguous. The best way to be unambiguous is to use alternative expressions such as “twice a month” or “every two months”.