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the vast majority = plural or singular?

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Intern
Joined: 11 Jul 2009
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the vast majority = plural or singular? [#permalink]

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23 Aug 2009, 17:20
When you say "The vast majority of Ohio's residents....." is the correct verb (are) or (is)? I know that "The number of ____" is singular and "A number of ____" is plural, but I wasn't sure if that applied to The vast majority vs. A vast majority.

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Current Student
Joined: 13 Feb 2009
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Concentration: Finance, General Management
Schools: Michigan (Ross) - Class of 2013
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Re: the vast majority = plural or singular? [#permalink]

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23 Aug 2009, 18:23
sk88 wrote:
When you say "The vast majority of Ohio's residents....." is the correct verb (are) or (is)? I know that "The number of ____" is singular and "A number of ____" is plural, but I wasn't sure if that applied to The vast majority vs. A vast majority.

Plural.

The vast majority of Ohio's residents are...
In Ohio, the vast majority is...

http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2009/04/2 ... pitalized/

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Intern
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Re: the vast majority = plural or singular? [#permalink]

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23 Aug 2009, 18:30
mreevit wrote:
sk88 wrote:
When you say "The vast majority of Ohio's residents....." is the correct verb (are) or (is)? I know that "The number of ____" is singular and "A number of ____" is plural, but I wasn't sure if that applied to The vast majority vs. A vast majority.

Plural.

The vast majority of Ohio's residents are...
In Ohio, the vast majority is...

http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2009/04/2 ... pitalized/

Thanks! But could you explain why "In Ohio, the vast majority is..." is singular? Is this rule similar to the rule for "each"?

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Manager
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Re: the vast majority = plural or singular? [#permalink]

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23 Sep 2009, 17:35
mreevit wrote:
sk88 wrote:
When you say "The vast majority of Ohio's residents....." is the correct verb (are) or (is)? I know that "The number of ____" is singular and "A number of ____" is plural, but I wasn't sure if that applied to The vast majority vs. A vast majority.

Plural.

The vast majority of Ohio's residents are...
In Ohio, the vast majority is...

http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2009/04/2 ... pitalized/

Plural?
Then " the majority of the students" is plural as well, right?

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Re: the vast majority = plural or singular? [#permalink]

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07 Oct 2009, 06:36

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Re: the vast majority = plural or singular? [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2009, 12:25
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The trick is to identify the subject of the sentence because numerical words, such as "majority," can be either plural or singular depending on the subject and the context of the sentence.

When the word "majority" refers to a group of people, it should be singular.

eg.

The majority is opposed to the decision

But when "majority" is used to indicate individual parts out of a totality, then use plural.

eg.

The majority of Ohio's residents are...

Also note "a majority of..." is used to indicate parts out of a total sum, so this should be plural

eg.

A majority of students agree...

HTH!
_________________

Paul

Focused GMAT Prep
http://www.thegmatbootcamp.com

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Senior Manager
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Location: Texas
Re: the vast majority = plural or singular? [#permalink]

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03 Aug 2011, 21:36
i just came across a SC that checks the majority -

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.

is unable, or either unwilling
is either unable or unwilling
are unable, or either unwilling
are either unable or unwilling
are unable or unwilling, either way,

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Re: the vast majority = plural or singular?   [#permalink] 03 Aug 2011, 21:36
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