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Thread: Usage

  1. #1
    shoaib 1 is offline Member
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    Default Usage

    Hi dear Teachers,
    What is difference between "the majority of people" and "a majority of people" in terms of singular and plural?


    THANKS

  2. #2
    lauralie2 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Usage

    Quote Originally Posted by shoaib 1 View Post
    Hi dear Teachers,
    What is difference between "the majority of people" and "a majority of people" in terms of singular and plural?
    There's this advice here, but you'll need a PhD in Rhetoric to apply the rules, and then there's this quick 'n easy guide from MT State University:

    The words "number," "variety" and "majority" can be singular or plural, depending on whether they're preceded by "a" or "the."


    • A number are, but the number is.
    • A variety are, but the variety is.
    • A majority are, but the majority is.
    But it doesn't tell us why "a majority" always takes a plural verb, and that bugs me. I'd like to know. And, finally, there's this very insightful, yet not very helpful article.
    Last edited by lauralie2; 17-Oct-2010 at 12:10.

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