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  1. #1
    vectra's Avatar
    vectra is offline Member
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    Default a small but growing number are offering a third option

    Hello,

    This is a sentence from NYTimes's article 'Admission to College, With Catch: Year's Wait' by Lisa W. Foderaro: 'Now, as colleges are increasingly swamped with applications, a small but growing number are offering a third option: guaranteed admission if the student attends another institution for a year or two and earns a prescribed grade-point average.'

    Don't we have to use 'is' after 'a small but growing number'?

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: a small but growing number are offering a third option

    *I'm not a teacher*

    I'd like to have a try.
    It seems to me the sentence should be read as "a small but growing number [of colleges] are offering ...." and in this case we have to use a plural verb. However, if the sentence was "The number of colleges that....is growing", a sigular verb would be the way to go.

  3. #3
    vectra's Avatar
    vectra is offline Member
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    Default Re: a small but growing number are offering a third option

    Hello,

    It is Hall of Shame time for me. I completely forgot about a very good book I have 'Test of English as a Foreign Language Preparation Guide' by Michael A. Pyle, M.A. and Mary Ellen Munoz, M.A. published by Cliffs Notes.
    Here is a rule:
    a number of + plural noun+plural verb
    the number of + plural noun+singular verb

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