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  1. #21
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stunz1
    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.
    I agree.

    :D

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stunz1

    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.
    But, biscuits and cakes are countable.

    Notice that "biscuits" is plural (it has -s), so it takes a plural verb, 'have'; "cake" is singular (it doesn't have -s), so it takes a singular verb, 'is.

    :D

  3. #23
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    If you're on a diet, you might say that two-thirds of the biscuit has been eaten.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    If you're on a diet, you might say that two-thirds of the biscuit has been eaten.
    :D cute :D
    ________
    biscuit has
    biscuits have
    The biscuit's two-thirds has been eaten. :wink:

  5. #25
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Not that cute to the poor dieter struggling to put the remaining third aside for later on.

  6. #26
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Quote Originally Posted by Stunz1

    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.
    But, biscuits and cakes are countable.

    Notice that "biscuits" is plural (it has -s), so it takes a plural verb, 'have'; "cake" is singular (it doesn't have -s), so it takes a singular verb, 'is.

    :D
    That is certainly true. What I thought he meant was that since you can't say three cake that you say a third of the cake has been eaten or a third of the cakes have been eaten.

    Hm. You are right, of course.

    :)

  7. #27
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    But, biscuits and cakes are countable.

    :D
    Can't cake be both countable and uncountable:
    There aren't many cakes left.
    There wasn't much cake left.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    But, biscuits and cakes are countable.

    :D
    Can't cake be both countable and uncountable:
    There aren't many cakes left.
    There wasn't much cake left.
    Absolutely.

    :wink:

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