Collective nouns

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by Ali.h, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. Ali.h Banned

    Is (بَطّ) (duck) a collective noun, and (بَطَّة) is its singular?


    Is (رِيْش) (feather) a collective noun, and (رِيْشَة) is its singular?

    Is (نَعام) (ostrich) a collective noun, and (نَعَامَة) is its singular?

    Is the word (طَباشِير) a collective noun?

    Are (نَبْت) and (نَبات) both considered collective nouns?
  2. Outlandish

    Outlandish Senior Member

    Please explain how do you consider them collective nouns because I find them regular plurals like رجل pl رجال, or كتاب pl كتب. What is the exact difference between collective nouns and plurals? maybe there is something which I'm missing.
  3. Ali.h Banned

    As you know a "collective noun" denotes a group of things in general. A "unit noun" denotes a single specimen of that group. For example سمك is a collective noun referring to "fish" in general, and سمكة is a unit noun referring to "one fish."
  4. Tasneemspring

    Tasneemspring New Member

    In this case, what you've said is right.
  5. Ali.h Banned

    What you mean? You mean that the nouns i mentioned in my first post are all indeed collective nouns?
  6. ajami Senior Member

    For example سمك is a collective noun.NO its not.

    "samak" is a common noun which
    indicate any fish while "as samak"is the noun for "jins samak".

    e.g of collective nouns........ herd,flock,class,troop,tribe,nation etc etc.the noun whic is coined for many units but one word is used for it
  7. Ali.h Banned

    Are you saying that we could only call samak a collective noun if it has the definite article affixed to it? and the same rule applies for the rest of collective nouns as well (the defintie artile has to be attached)?
  8. ajami Senior Member


    I think you understood the meaning

    of collective nouns by the above mentioned examples.

    Shoal/school is the collective noun for fish. By putting "AL"

    before "samak" you will only get its "ألجنس" (its class in

    GENERAL in which, an individual fish is not cosidered) still it's

    not a collective noun.

    Collective nouns are those which are used for the groups

    (include many units of that noun BUT NOT ALL while "ألجنس "

    talks about the whole class as a unit (without being units in


    JazakALLAH khayr.
  9. Ali.h Banned


    But Hans Wehr says its a collective noun! If there's another dictionary that states this is not a collective noun please let me know.
  10. ajami Senior Member

    You are right hans wehr mention it as a coll:n and gives its sing,

    samkatun.Could you plz consult "ALMUNJID" and Ibn manzoor

    "lisanu arab" (very famous arabic dictionaries).
  11. ajami Senior Member

  12. Outlandish

    Outlandish Senior Member

    I thought that collective nouns are only those which denote a number of entities in a singular word which may be multiplied later; when referring to a singular entity of them we will use a word which is not from the same root of the collective noun (مفرده ليس من لفظه (اسم جمع . For example:

    جيش of which a single unit is جندى ; pl جيوش
    فريق of which a single unit is لاعب ; pl فرق
    قطيع of which a single unit is حيوان ; pl قطعان

    The same in English:
    army of which a single unit is soldier; pl. armies
    herd of which a single unit is animal; pl. herds, etc

    But I read this definition of collective Arabic nouns and it is new to me:

    If collective Arabic nouns are simply words of which the plural is broken plurals صيغ جمع شاذة so your words are in deed collective nouns, but if it is not that simple, I guess then that these are basically only (broken) plurals. Collective nouns which I know are like, فصل، جيش ، قطيع، فريق .
  13. Trella-man Member

    Guys I post here cause it's not yet clear, for me, the difference of meaning between plural and collective noun.
    For example شجر is the collective for شجرة, that means tree; the plural of شجرة is أشجار , which I think means trees.
    The point now is: what does شجر means?
  14. AndyRoo Senior Member

    شجر is the collective noun for tree....

    e.g. علم الشجر = the science of trees (dendrology). Here, trees = trees as a species, not a specific group of trees.

    The collective noun could also be used in phrases like لحم الغنم = lamb (meat)

    or أحب التفاح =I like apples.
  15. Trella-man Member

    Hmm, I think I understand (I can't find a reason for not using the plural also in this case, but ok...).
  16. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    Just a note on the first post. طباشير is not a collective noun, it is an irregular noun (جمع تكسير) for which the singular is طبشور and طبشورة.

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