Is "boxes" in "three boxes of cereal" a partitive noun or a collective noun? What is the difference? — Phoo, Thailand
A partitive noun is a noun that is used to describe a part or quantity of something. Partitive nouns are used with another noun to tell you how much of that noun there is. "Boxes" in "three boxes of cereal" is a partitive noun because it describes a specific quantity of cereal. Below are more examples of partitive nouns.
a glass of milk
a spoonful of sugar
some of the cake
a lot of feathers
a bottle of perfume
a piece of paper
A collective noun is a noun that describes a group of something. Collective nouns do not necessarily tell you about the quantity of things in a group. Below are some examples of collective nouns.
a pride of lions
a flock of seagulls
a crowd of people
a team of players
a troupe of dancers
a forest of trees
Just remember: a partitive noun describes a part or quantity of something. A collective noun describes a group of things.
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