Lesson 87 – Safari – Collective nouns

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IN YOUR LANGUAGE (Top right > Select language > Click on the flags).



  • Scrimping and saving
  • Living frugally
  • On the back burner
  • Edging their way through
  • The airport terminal
  • Invigorating and exciting
  • On his way to
  • It went off without a hitch
  • Flying above the clouds
  • Ranges of mountains
  • To became aware that
  • A crowd of onlookers
  • A clique of photographers
  • A scoop of journalists
  • Army of admirers
  • A fleet of taxis
  • The head of the fleet
  • A majestic building
  • A grand flight of stairs
  • Veered off
  • Opening up to
  • A massive stain glass window
  • King-sized / king-size bed
  • Drifted soundly to sleep
  • A long, uninterrupted sleep,
  • He heading out
  • A multi-disciplinary institution
  • Crafts and paintings
  • A print of some artwork
  • A local eatery
  • It looks like a caterpillar
  • Hot ashes
  • He retired back to the hotel
  • What he came here for
  • His attempts to fall asleep
  • The rise of the morning sun
  • Wake up call
  • He was taken aback
  • The thick forests
  • Lush green plains
  • A herd of elephants
  • Basking
  • Frolicking
  • Pod of hippopotami
  • Prides of lions
  • Herds of wildebeest
  • Cackles of hyenas
  • Swarms of flies
  • On his trip back
  • The sun set over the plains
  • Etched permanently into his brain




Lesson 87 – Safari 

George has been saving money for a long time in order to be able to afford a trip around the world. After scrimping and saving, living frugally and putting his social life on the back burner, he has managed to save enough to take the trip he has always dreamt of. As with every journey he has ever taken, the travel is when the holiday truly starts. Many people would be quite annoyed by the crowd of people edging their way through the airport terminal, screaming children, customers complaining, but George found the whole experience invigorating and exciting. In 15 hours he will be in Botswana and on his way to his very first safari. The airplanes departure went off without a hitch and he was soon flying above the clouds and over ranges of mountains.

On arriving in Botswana he quickly became aware that there must have been somebody famous on the plane. A crowd of onlookers, a clique of photographers and a scoop of journalists were waiting expectantly in the terminal and George, though intrigued, had to push his way through the army of admirers and get to the hotel. Outside the terminal a fleet of taxis and a welcome sun greeted George. He made his way to the head of the fleet and got into the taxi.

George arose early after a long, uninterrupted sleep, feeling refreshed and ready to start his day. After breakfast he headed out to visit some of Botswana’s collection of museums. His first visit was to The Botswana National Museum, a multi-disciplinary institution that includes the National Art Gallery, Octagon Gallery, and the National Botanical Garden. The displays of traditional Botswanan crafts and paintings were beyond anything George could imagine. He treated himself to a print of some artwork from the museum shop.

During his tour he stopped off at a local eatery and tried a Vetkoek, a traditional South African fried dough bread filled with cooked minced beef and washed it down with some home-made ginger beer. He did, however, draw the line at trying some “mashonja”, otherwise known as “The Mopane Worm”, a grub that looks like a caterpillar and is cooked in hot ashes, boiled, or dried and fried. Whichever way they were cooked, it wasn’t enough to entice George to try one.

After a round trip visiting the museums in Molepolole, Mochudi and Kanye, George eventually retired back to the hotel. Tomorrow he would be visiting the national park and going on his first safari. This is what he came here for. The excitement he felt almost made his attempts to fall asleep redundant but tiredness soon won over and before he knew it, the rise of the morning sun gave him a welcoming wake-up call. After a quick shower and breakfast, George was ready for this particular part of his adventure. The safari tour bus was leaving at 8 in the morning and would take 6 hours to get to the national park so he bought himself some Vetkoek and ginger beer for the journey.

On arriving at the national park, he was taken aback by its natural beauty, the thick forests and lush green plains. He had no words to describe the first time he saw a herd of elephants, basking and frolicking in the hot African sun. The pod of hippopotami, grazing on the riverfront, paid little attention to caravan of travellers through the home. Prides of lions, herds of wildebeest and buffalo and cackles of hyenas fed George’s imagination and the serenity of the ecosystem was disrupted only by the swarms of flies. A small price to pay for such a tremendous experience.

On his trip back from the park, George watched the sun set over the plains, the memory of this part of his adventure etched permanently into his brain. He had another four days in Botswana before heading to Australia. He had read so much about “The bush” but he really wanted to experience it for himself, the wildlife, the Aboriginals. He had never seen a Kangaroo, not even at a zoo. Next week he would see a troop of them.



Interactive Video Comprehension Quiz 1

Summary Statements Comprehension Quiz 2

Drag and Drop Quiz 3: 




Before starting on “collective nouns”, let’s see a quick reminder of what “countable” and “uncountable” (or “mass”) nouns constitute.

Countable nouns can be counted, meaning quantified with amount, size and value. These nouns have both a singular and a plural form.

Uncountable nouns are abstract or simply immeasurable concepts. They only exist in the singular form.

Collective nouns constitute a form of countable nouns as they englobe a group of countable nouns as a unit. Collective nouns are words that we use to describe a group of nouns. A collective noun may be singular or plural depending on the context in which the noun is used. It may be either considered a unit (singular) or as individuals (plural).

It is a distinctiveness of the English language. The difficulty lies in the multitude of names given to collections or groups and not so much the attempts to work out whether to conjugate the verb that follows at the third person singular or plural.

The flock of swifts was/were heading South. (“was” because the flock is considered a unit or “were” if the swifts of the flock are considered individually).

We can always add a word to avoid the issue (singular or plural?) all together. To simplify matters,a plural word for the individuals within the group can be introduced.

The jury is/are to convene at 7 o’clock. (The members of the jury are to convene at 7 o’clock).


bed of oysters

bevy of alcoholics

bunch of grapes

clan of hyenas

cloud of bats

colony/warren of rabbits

A culture of bacteria

flight of insects

herd of llamas

horde of hamsters

A mob of wallabies

pack/kennel of dogs

litter of cubs

pod/school of dolphins

shoal/school of herrings

swarm/cloud of flies

team of oxen


An agenda of tasks

An audience of listeners

bed/bouquet/bunch/patch of flowers

bevy/galaxy of beauties

bunch/hand of bananas

band of robbers

board of trustees

bench of magistrates

band of men

caravan of desert travellers

clique of photographers

crowd of onlookers

cast of actors

crowd/mob of people

cortege of mourners

den of thieves

An eloquence of lawyers

flock of tourists

fleet of cars

flight of stairs

faculty of academics

nest of rumours

An orchestra of musicians

pack/deck of cards

posse of police

pity/gang of prisoners

panel of experts

range of mountains

ream of paper

shrivel of critics

slate of candidates

scoop of journalists

staff of employees

troupe of acrobats

team of athletes

troop of boy scouts

tribe of natives

talent of gamblers

wealth of information


An array

An army



A community

A crowd

A department

A family

A group

A majority






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