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# Singular Or Plural

Author Message
Manager
Status: Only GMAT!!
Joined: 17 Sep 2010
Posts: 77

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03 Mar 2011, 12:17
Hi there, I'm a little confused with the Subject over here.

A majority of commuters reads or listens to music while traveling.

"A majority of commuters" is singular or plural?
Kindly, explain.

"The majority of the students" in the class ARE hard workers.
"The majority of the students" == Plural

Also,
The student majority IS opposed to the punishment.
"The student majority"== Singular

So, I think "A majority of commuters" should be Plural?
Is it?

Kudos [?]: 52 [0], given: 24

Senior Manager
Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 409

Kudos [?]: 70 [1], given: 115

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04 Mar 2011, 14:17
1
KUDOS
MeinKampf wrote:
Hi there, I'm a little confused with the Subject over here.

A majority of commuters reads or listens to music while traveling.

"A majority of commuters" is singular or plural?
Kindly, explain.

"The majority of the students" in the class ARE hard workers.
"The majority of the students" == Plural

Also,
The student majority IS opposed to the punishment.
"The student majority"== Singular

So, I think "A majority of commuters" should be Plural?
Is it?

yes it is plural because 'commuters' is plural. if the noun was sungular then the subj would be singular.

Kudos [?]: 70 [1], given: 115

Director
Status: No dream is too large, no dreamer is too small
Joined: 14 Jul 2010
Posts: 608

Kudos [?]: 1154 [0], given: 39

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06 Mar 2011, 13:14
Eliminate portion after of. so a majority is singular.
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Manager
Status: Only GMAT!!
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Posts: 77

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WE 1: 5.5+ years IT Prof.

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06 Mar 2011, 22:48
Baten80 wrote:
Eliminate portion after of. so a majority is singular.

Could you please clarify why its singular?

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Intern
Joined: 22 Dec 2010
Posts: 4

Kudos [?]: [0], given: 0

Location: San Jose

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08 Mar 2011, 16:12
majority can be singular or plural, when it is attached to a prepositional phrase. since commuters in the phrase is plural, majority acts as plural in this case.

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Manager
Status: what we want to do, do it as soon as possible
Joined: 24 May 2010
Posts: 107

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Location: Vietnam
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14 Mar 2011, 03:20
MeinKampf wrote:
Hi there, I'm a little confused with the Subject over here.

A majority of commuters reads or listens to music while traveling.

"A majority of commuters" is singular or plural?
Kindly, explain.

"The majority of the students" in the class ARE hard workers.
"The majority of the students" == Plural

Also,
The student majority IS opposed to the punishment.
"The student majority"== Singular

So, I think "A majority of commuters" should be Plural?
Is it?

It's up to the context of the sentence.
_________________

Consider giving me kudos if you find my explanations helpful so i can learn how to express ideas to people more understandable.

Last edited by MICKEYXITIN on 14 Mar 2011, 03:22, edited 1 time in total.

Kudos [?]: 73 [0], given: 315

Manager
Status: what we want to do, do it as soon as possible
Joined: 24 May 2010
Posts: 107

Kudos [?]: 73 [0], given: 315

Location: Vietnam
WE 1: 5.0

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14 Mar 2011, 03:21
MeinKampf wrote:
Hi there, I'm a little confused with the Subject over here.

A majority of commuters reads or listens to music while traveling.

"A majority of commuters" is singular or plural?
Kindly, explain.

"The majority of the students" in the class ARE hard workers.
"The majority of the students" == Plural

Also,
The student majority IS opposed to the punishment.
"The student majority"== Singular

So, I think "A majority of commuters" should be Plural?
Is it?

I think in this sentence the verb should be plural.
_________________

Consider giving me kudos if you find my explanations helpful so i can learn how to express ideas to people more understandable.

Kudos [?]: 73 [0], given: 315

Manager
Joined: 05 Jan 2011
Posts: 168

Kudos [?]: 198 [0], given: 8

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15 Mar 2011, 21:30
MeinKampf wrote:
Hi there, I'm a little confused with the Subject over here.

A majority of commuters reads or listens to music while traveling.

"A majority of commuters" is singular or plural?
Kindly, explain.

"The majority of the students" in the class ARE hard workers.
"The majority of the students" == Plural

Also,
The student majority IS opposed to the punishment.
"The student majority"== Singular

So, I think "A majority of commuters" should be Plural?

"Many words that mean a group of things — total, majority, and number, for example — can be singular or plural. Sometimes they mean the group acting as a whole, sometimes the members of a group.

"As with the other two-faced words, ask yourself whether you are thinking of the whole or the parts. A little hint: The before the word (the total, the majority) is usually a tip-off that it's singular; while a (a total, a number), especially when of comes after, usually indicates a plural.

[Examples:] The majority is in charge. Still, a majority of voters are unhappy" (http://www.drgrammar.org/frequently-asked-questions O'Conner, Woe Is I 26).
Is it?

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Intern
Joined: 22 Feb 2010
Posts: 49

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25 May 2011, 11:50
The words majority, minority and plurality are either singular or plural, depending on their context. If you want to indicate the many individual parts of the totality, use a plural verb. If you want to indicate the totality itself, use a singular verb.
In the first instance, we are talking of majority as a whole that does some common function. Since we are talking of the majority as a whole, a singular verb is to be used.
In the second case, we are talking of the many students or the strength of individual students. It makes for a case for plural verb.
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Manager
Status: UC Berkeley 2012
Joined: 03 Jul 2010
Posts: 190

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Location: United States
Concentration: Economics, Finance
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29 May 2011, 08:10
Neither/Either are similar in that behavior (just as a tip!)

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Re: Singular Or Plural   [#permalink] 29 May 2011, 08:10
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