Reply to "collective nouns?"

Yes, you can.

What you can't say is this:

The compound have forty people living there.

We have to say:

  • The compound has forty people living there.

    "Compound" is a singular count noun, so you can, of course, have four compounds.

    But, since one of the requirements of a collective noun is that sometimes it can appear with a plural verb, "compound" does not fit. We can't say, "The compound are..."
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