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# a number of/the number of.please explain!

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Intern
Joined: 20 Dec 2005
Posts: 20

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16 Jan 2006, 14:28
Can anyone explain me when we should use plural and when singular?
I have read different explanations in different books...some say that we should always use plural after these phrases, for example: A/The number of people have (not has)...Somewhere else I read that: "A number of"...requires plural but "The number of" requires singular...(same problem with "percentage") Any ideas?

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VP
Joined: 06 Jun 2004
Posts: 1050

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Location: CA

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16 Jan 2006, 20:23
You are correct.

"A number" always takes plural verbs......

"The number" always takes singular verbs...
_________________

Don't be afraid to take a flying leap of faith.. If you risk nothing, than you gain nothing...

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Director
Joined: 17 Sep 2005
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16 Jan 2006, 20:49
'a number of' and 'a group of' are used with plural nouns, pronouns and verbs.

Ex: A number of my friends feel that they are not properly paid for the work they do.

Regards,
Brajesh

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Intern
Joined: 20 Dec 2005
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19 Jan 2006, 11:01
many thanks!

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19 Jan 2006, 11:01
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