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# VErb-Subject agreement doubt.

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Manager
Status: Applying
Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 154
Location: United Kingdom
Concentration: General Management, Strategy
GPA: 3.65
WE: Consulting (Telecommunications)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 15 [0], given: 6

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27 Oct 2009, 22:41
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I have a question about which i have a doubt for the Subject-Verb agreement type of SC queries:-

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

Is the above sentence correct? If yes then how can the below sentence be correct as well?

"The majority of the students in this class are hard workers. "

In Manhatten GMAT the above(students) is given as correct but the (railway commuters) one is given as correct as well!!

I am confused.
If you have any questions
New!
Senior Manager
Joined: 18 Aug 2009
Posts: 434
Schools: UT at Austin, Indiana State University, UC at Berkeley
WE 1: 5.5
WE 2: 5.5
WE 3: 6.0
Followers: 8

Kudos [?]: 121 [0], given: 16

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28 Oct 2009, 17:32
I would recommend to pay attention the use of the article right before the word "majority"

When u use "(a) majority", it is acting as a noun in the verb, so we use single verb, while "(the) majority of ..." would often refer to somebody, students, doctors, teachers, etc. It makes us to use plural verbs usually after.
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Manager
Joined: 10 Sep 2009
Posts: 119
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Kudos [?]: 71 [0], given: 10

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30 Oct 2009, 10:39
Source : http://wsu.edu/~brians/errors/majority.html

“Majority” is one of those words that can be either singular or plural. Common sense works pretty well in deciding which. If you mean the word to describe a collection of individuals, then the word should be treated as plural: “The majority of e-mail users are upset about the increase in spam.” If the word is used to describe a collective group, then consider it singular: “A 90% majority is opposed to scheduling the next meeting at 6:00 A.M.” If you are uncertain which you mean, then choose whatever form sounds best to you; it's not likely to bother many people.
Senior Manager
Joined: 18 Aug 2009
Posts: 434
Schools: UT at Austin, Indiana State University, UC at Berkeley
WE 1: 5.5
WE 2: 5.5
WE 3: 6.0
Followers: 8

Kudos [?]: 121 [0], given: 16

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30 Oct 2009, 18:37
Just pay attention to the article in front of the word majority.
If you see a use it should be singular verb.
if you see the article the, it should have plural verb
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Re: VErb-Subject agreement doubt.   [#permalink] 30 Oct 2009, 18:37
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