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  1. #11
    CitySpeak Guest

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    Which one is correct?

    1. Two thirds of the cake has been eaten.

    2. Two thirds of the cake have been eaten.

  2. #12
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    In BE, the plural would be much more comon, but again, we wouldn't worry about it.

  3. #13
    CitySpeak Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    In BE, the plural would be much more comon, but again, we wouldn't worry about it.

    We concern ourselves with it in AE.




  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by CitySpeak
    Which one is correct?

    1. Two thirds of the cake has been eaten.

    2. Two thirds of the cake have been eaten.
    • Part of the cake has been eaten.
      Some of the cake has been eaten.
      Most of the cake has been eaten.
      Two thirds of the cake has been eaten.


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  5. #15
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    The logic is unarguable, but BE usage runs against it. People would be divided and a lot of people would use both forms. I think we don't bother with the logic. Many say 'there's two reasons', those others would deplore that. It quite simply doesn't seem to worry us. We wouldn't use it in the other examples either, but the second there's a plural knocking around, we're happy to treat the verb as plural.

  6. #16
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    • Part of the cake has been eaten.
      Some of the cake has been eaten.
      Most of the cake has been eaten.
      Two thirds of the cake has been eaten.


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  7. #17
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    I think that two thirds by itself is clearly plural. However, that is different from two thirds of the cake, which I believe is singular and which follows the pattern I already outlined.

    :)

    [Edited to correct my goof.]

  8. #18
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    In BE, many would take their logic from the 'two' and not think of it as a single thing.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CitySpeak
    Which one is correct?

    1. Two thirds of the cake has been eaten.

    2. Two thirds of the cake have been eaten.
    Two thirds have been eaten. (OK)

    Two thirds of the population are Chinese. (OK)

    Note:

    One third are Chinese. (OK)

    copular verb: X = Y. (X and Y must agree in number.)

    Since "Chinese" is plural here, 'One third' is plural, too.

    :D

  10. #20
    Stunz1 Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Quote Originally Posted by CitySpeak
    Which one is correct?

    1. Two thirds of the cake has been eaten.

    2. Two thirds of the cake have been eaten.
    Two thirds have been eaten. (OK)

    Two thirds of the population are Chinese. (OK)

    Note:

    One third are Chinese. (OK)

    copular verb: X = Y. (X and Y must agree in number.)

    Since "Chinese" is plural here, 'One third' is plural, too.

    :D
    I'd say:
    Two thirds of the biscuits have been eaten.
    But:
    Two thirds of the cake has been eaten.

    To me it seems to depend on whether the "two thirds" is countable or not.

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