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The majority of patrons of the local library, though

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The majority of patrons of the local library, though  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 21 Jul 2017, 03:22
4
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  25% (medium)

Question Stats:

65% (00:50) correct 35% (00:50) wrong based on 241 sessions

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The majority of patrons of the local library, though enthusiastic about a new book mobile service, is unable, or either unwilling , to volunteer time to staff it.

A is unable, or either unwilling
B is either unable or unwilling
C are unable, or either unwilling
D are either unable or unwilling
E are unable or unwilling, either way

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Originally posted by noboru on 02 Aug 2010, 13:12.
Last edited by abhimahna on 21 Jul 2017, 03:22, edited 1 time in total.
Edited the question and added OA
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Re: The majority of patrons of the local library, though  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2010, 14:33
B is either unable or unwilling
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Re: The majority of patrons of the local library, though  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2010, 19:22
d?
The majority of patrons are unable...
The majority is unable...
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New post 02 Aug 2010, 19:36
IMO D
Majority of Patrons..collection of individuals..should be plural.
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Re: The majority of patrons of the local library, though  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2010, 21:09
+1 for D.. "Majority of patrons" is plural ..
and hence need 'are' in the sentence.. D and E both have "are", but D is concise and fits the bill..
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Re: The majority of patrons of the local library, though  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2010, 21:54
The majority of patrons has to be singular - If it had been A majority - then plural I guess....BTW i went for B. What is the OA? is it A :-) or D :-(
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New post 02 Aug 2010, 21:56
Oops I just read the comments of Werewolf and it seems right - The majority is or The majority of patrons are .... I think he makes sense and hence should be D
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New post 02 Aug 2010, 22:42
I agree D sounds better.

But the below then confuses me :
A majority of the voters wants to unseat the incumbent.

Can you help understand the difference? Tks
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Re: The majority of patrons of the local library, though  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2010, 12:50
Hey Werewolf, I am not aware of the below rule:

The majority of patrons are unable...
The majority is unable...

Do you mind sharing the source. I thought 'majority' is always singular.
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Re: The majority of patrons of the local library, though  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2010, 19:31
seekmba wrote:
Hey Werewolf, I am not aware of the below rule:

The majority of patrons are unable...
The majority is unable...

Do you mind sharing the source. I thought 'majority' is always singular.


I think when you say "the majority", you are defining a group. e.g., words such as committee, council, cabinet, etc which always take a singular verb.

I'm not too sure but I hope the following will clear things a little.

Here's the rule:
quantifier + of + NOUN + verb

The NOUN determines whether the verb is singular or plural
.

For example:
Most of the people is/are...
because the quantifier "most" refers to "people," (a plural noun) so "most" is plural in this sentence.

Most of the water is/are...
"Most" becomes a non-count noun because "water" is a non-count noun.

The verb should agree with the preceding noun or clause.
One third of the book deals with the current political situation.
One third of the students are planning to ...

I believe "majority" acts in the same way as "most" and "one third" in the above examples, except for the fact that unlike "most", "majority" can only be used with countable nouns.

As for the source, I got the info from somewhere I don't remember. A printed single page with that info refers to Tai Lieu Du Hoc (U can do a quick search and find the site). I visited the site but couldn't understand a single word, and didn't know how to navigate through it. :(
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Re: The majority of patrons of the local library, though  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2010, 09:33
2
Rule: With words that indicate portions – percent, fraction, part, majority, some, all, none, remainder, and so forth – look at the noun in your of phrase (Object of the preposition) to determine whether to use a singular or plural verb. If the object of the preposition is singular, use a singular verb. If the object of the preposition is a plural verb, use a plural verb.
Example: Fifty percent of the pie has disappeared
A high percentage of the population is …, A high percentage of the people are …
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Re: The majority of patrons of the local library, though  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2010, 10:21
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I am afraid we have missed an important point here. We are not discussing mere majority here. We are discussing the majority. The article the before such words as majority, numbers etc., gives a hint that it is singular, while the article a before the same words indicates a plural.

Ex: The majority of students is not interested in studies these days
A majority of students aspire for the Ivy League Schools

The number of women electronic engineers is on the increase nowadays.
A number of women electronic engineers have gone abroad not as engineers but as housewives

So in the given case: Implicit though the phrase may be, the majority of the patrons is singular and hence the verb should be is rather than are. B is certainly the winner over D, in my view.
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Re: The majority of patrons of the local library, though  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2010, 11:40
Yes, but in the example the subject is patrons. Need to be careful, what is the sense in this sentence? If you can answer who and what of the verb, you have the answer :)
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Re: The majority of patrons of the local library, though  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2010, 18:21
Words that are sometimes singular and sometimes plural
Majority 'is' but majority of something 'are'

source: SC Grail
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Re: The majority of patrons of the local library, though  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Oct 2010, 21:49
daagh wrote:
I am afraid we have missed an important point here. We are not discussing mere majority here. We are discussing the majority. The article the before such words as majority, numbers etc., gives a hint that it is singular, while the article a before the same words indicates a plural.

Ex: The majority of students is not interested in studies these days
A majority of students aspire for the Ivy League Schools

The number of women electronic engineers is on the increase nowadays.
A number of women electronic engineers have gone abroad not as engineers but as housewives

So in the given case: Implicit though the phrase may be, the majority of the patrons is singular and hence the verb should be is rather than are. B is certainly the winner over D, in my view.


I think you're right. But all of this is so confusing!
'The majority...' should be singular and 'Majority...' or 'A majority..' should be plural?
Could you please elaborate more? Is it because 'the majority...' refers to some specific number or a percentage?
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Re: The majority of patrons of the local library, though  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Oct 2010, 22:48
noboru wrote:
The majority of patrons of the local library, though enthusiastic about a new book mobile service, is unable, or either unwilling , to volunteer time to staff it.


A is unable, or either unwilling
B is either unable or unwilling
C are unable, or either unwilling
D are either unable or unwilling
E are unable or unwilling, either way

Basically...singular or plural, what is your take?



The Testing point here are
1) Majority and minority can accept singular or plural verb
2) Either Or Usage
3) Collective effort vs individual effort of group.

Here D is correct answer because - majority of patrons of the local library......to volunteer time to staff it. The action performed here is by those individual people in the majority (some x people of this majority group are unwilling to vote). Not the majority as an entity is performing that action.

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Re: The majority of patrons of the local library, though  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Nov 2010, 22:51
daagh wrote:
I am afraid we have missed an important point here. We are not discussing mere majority here. We are discussing the majority. The article the before such words as majority, numbers etc., gives a hint that it is singular, while the article a before the same words indicates a plural.

Ex: The majority of students is not interested in studies these days
A majority of students aspire for the Ivy League Schools

The number of women electronic engineers is on the increase nowadays.
A number of women electronic engineers have gone abroad not as engineers but as housewives

So in the given case: Implicit though the phrase may be, the majority of the patrons is singular and hence the verb should be is rather than are. B is certainly the winner over D, in my view.


I initially agreed with Daagh's pov; however, while googling, I found this link.

http://forum.wordreference.com/showthre ... 923&page=2

The majority of Americans believe ... sounds fine.
The majority of Americans believes ... sounds awful to my ears.

Examples from Cambridge dictionary.
The majority of the employees have university degrees.
A large majority of people approve of the death sentence.

I welcome additional information.
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Re: The majority of patrons of the local library, though  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Nov 2010, 03:37
If Cambridge has said it, who can appeal over! Even MGMAT retracted its stand on the use of the majority's number and removed the earlier version altogether in its later versions, I am told

What is intriguing however is the flexibility of grammar to adapt. May be this is good for grammar to evolve, but too much for a GMAT test taker, who is not aspiring to become an English teacher. A good manager is not identified by his sense of number agreement either.

Finally to “misquote” the Bard, “ Grammar is not grammar that doesn’t change, when change it finds it expedient "
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Re: The majority of patrons of the local library, though  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2010, 17:05
According to me it is D.
Eg: The majority of people are--Plural
The people majority is -- Singular

Hope this helps.
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Re: The majority of patrons of the local library, though  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2010, 17:25
IMO it should be D. Context is about patrons and not about majority.
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Re: The majority of patrons of the local library, though   [#permalink] 23 Nov 2010, 17:25

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