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Learn English - Vocabulary

Words denoting groups and collections

To talk about a limited quantity of something we use a word like piece or bit, together with of, before an uncountable noun. Bit is informal, and usually suggests a small quantity.

A piece/bit of cake/bread
Some pieces/bits of paper/wood
A piece/bit of news/information

There are other words too. Some common examples are given below.

A bar of soap/chocolate
A blade of grass
A block of ice
A drop of water/oil/vinegar
A grain of sand/salt/rice
An item of clothing/furniture
A loaf of bread
A slice of bread/cake/meat
A sheet of paper/metal/plastic/stamps
A stick of chalk/celery
A suit of clothes/armour
A bale of cotton


Pair is used for many things that come in pairs.

A pair of shoes/socks/ear-rings
A pair of glasses/binoculars
A pair of trousers/jeans/pyjamas
A pair of scissors/pliers


Special words are used before certain nouns to talk about groups or collections.

An army/a regiment/a battalion of soldiers
A band of musicians
A basket of fruits
A bench of judges
A bevy of girls/women
A board of trustees/directors/examiners
A brood of chickens
A bunch of flowers/grapes
A bundle of sticks
A caravan of merchants/pilgrims/travelers
A chain of mountains
A congress of representatives/delegates
A consignment of goods
A crew of sailors
A constellation of stars
A fleet of ships
A flight of birds
A flock of sheep/geese
A galaxy of stars
A gang of prisoners/robbers/thieves/labourers
A group of islands
A heap of junk/stones/sand
A herd of cattle/deer/goats
A hive of bees
A horde of pirates/robbers/savages
A league of nations
A litter of pigs/puppies
A pack of hounds
A pride of lions/peacocks
A swarm of bees/ants
A volley of shots/bullets


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