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“The” number is singular, while “a” number is plural.

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“The” number is singular, while “a” number is plural.  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2018, 10:26
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Hi, read this rule in the attached PDF - Sentence Correction Basic Rules.

Can someone please explain it a bit?
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Re: “The” number is singular, while “a” number is plural.  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2018, 19:52
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“The” number is singular, while “a” number is plural

Some examples might help.

The number of people here has increased since this morning. "Number" takes the singular (has) here.
A number of people are waiting for the bus. -"a number of" takes a plural (are) here..the phrase "a number of" always takes a plural verb.

Hope this helps. Press Kudo if it has...kinda need them badly.
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Re: “The” number is singular, while “a” number is plural.  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2018, 23:13
Gagoosh wrote:
“The” number is singular, while “a” number is plural

Some examples might help.

The number of people here has increased since this morning. "Number" takes the singular (has) here.
A number of people are waiting for the bus. -"a number of" takes a plural (are) here..the phrase "a number of" always takes a plural verb.

Hope this helps. Press Kudo if it has...kinda need them badly.


Got it.
Thank you so much!
This really helps. Would've given you more than one kudos if I could!
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Re: “The” number is singular, while “a” number is plural.  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Oct 2018, 10:42
You can think of "the number" as a single entity, as generally it's the answer to the question "What is the number of X?" Since if you were to write down the answer to that question you would write a single number (whether that number is 25, 2, or 7), the phrase refers to one thing so you need a singular verb like "is" or "was"

Conversely, "a number" would refer to several individuals. If "a number" of people were standing outside the store, if you were to describe the size of the group, you'd say "several" or "many", both of which refer to groups of individuals. Because you're dealing with many individuals, you have to use a plural verb like "are" or "were".
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Re: “The” number is singular, while “a” number is plural. &nbs [#permalink] 01 Oct 2018, 10:42
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“The” number is singular, while “a” number is plural.

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