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  1. #1
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default subject verb agreement

    A large number of sudents have failed the exam.

    IF I am not mistaken, have should be has.

    Which is the subject in this sentence?

    It is number

    The parts highlighted in read are the subject modifiers.
    The first verb of the finite verb phrase is have.
    My grammar book says the subject-verb agreement means the subject has a relationship of concord with the verb.
    The subject (number) is 3rd person singular, and the verb form is not (have)

    Why is this construction still regarded standard?

    Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press
    A small number of children are educated at home.

    I would like to invite comments.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Teia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: subject verb agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    A large number of sudents have failed the exam.

    IF I am not mistaken, have should be has.

    Which is the subject in this sentence?

    It is number

    The parts highlighted in read are the subject modifiers.
    The first verb of the finite verb phrase is have.
    My grammar book says the subject-verb agreement means the subject has a relationship of concord with the verb.
    The subject (number) is 3rd person singular, and the verb form is not (have)

    Why is this construction still regarded standard?

    Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press
    A small number of children are educated at home.

    I would like to invite comments.
    Thanks

    Hi Svartnik

    A [ large ]number of ... + verb in the plural

    e.g. A number of workers are on strike. [ Subject- workers]- students - in your sentence

    a number of- a determiner

    The number of...+ verb in the singular

    The number of students is ....[ Subject- number]

    Although the expression 'a number' is strictly singular, the phrase 'a number of' is used with plural nouns (as what grammarians call a determiner). The verb should therefore be plural: 'A number of people are waiting for the bus'.

    Thus :

    The expression "the number" is singular
    e.g.The number of failures is decreasing

    The expression "a number" is plural
    e. g. A number of people are leaving


    Regards
    Last edited by Teia; 07-Jan-2007 at 21:11.

  3. #3
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: subject verb agreement

    Excellent explanation, Teia.

  4. #4
    Teia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: subject verb agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by mykwyner View Post
    Excellent explanation, Teia.

    Hi Mykwyner


    Thank you very much for encouraging me.

    Best wishes

    ps Just curious. How do you pronounce your username?

    1. [m i k w i n e r]
    or
    2. [m i k w a i n e r]

  5. #5
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: subject verb agreement

    It rhymes with "bike liner."

  6. #6
    Teia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: subject verb agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by mykwyner View Post
    It rhymes with "bike liner."

    Hi

    Oh, then ,neither 1 nor 2 is correct. I should have thought that "myk" comes from Mike .

    Thank you

  7. #7
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default Re: subject verb agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by teia_petrescu View Post
    Hi Svartnik
    A [ large ]number of ... + verb in the plural
    e.g. A number of workers are on strike. [ Subject- workers]- students - in your sentence
    a number of- a determiner
    The number of...+ verb in the singular
    The number of students is ....[ Subject- number]
    Although the expression 'a number' is strictly singular, the phrase 'a number of' is used with plural nouns (as what grammarians call a determiner). The verb should therefore be plural: 'A number of people are waiting for the bus'.
    Thus :
    The expression "the number" is singular
    e.g.The number of failures is decreasing
    The expression "a number" is plural
    e. g. A number of people are leaving
    Regards
    hello,
    "A [ large ]number of ... + verb in the plural" -- this is not true
    "A small number of children are educated at home."
    "SLIGHTLY FORMAL A large number of invitations has been sent"
    Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press
    MY take:
    A large(modifier) number (Subject) of people (post modifier) is (verb) leaving -- number, is -- grammatical concord
    number, are -- notional concord (a large number of = many)
    Last edited by svartnik; 10-Jan-2007 at 18:32.

  8. #8
    Teia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: subject verb agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    hello,
    "A [ large ]number of ... + verb in the plural" -- this is not true
    "A small number of children are educated at home."
    "SLIGHTLY FORMAL A large number of invitations has been sent"
    Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press
    MY take:
    A large(modifier) number (Subject) of people (post modifier) is (verb) leaving -- number, is -- grammatical concord
    number, are -- notional concord (a large number of = many)

    Hi Svartnik

    I`m sorry but I have to contradict you.
    As I have already explained "a number of" is a determiner and the SUBJECT is
    "workers" [ NOT NUMBER !!]in the sentence : A large number of workers are on strike. [workers are on strike not number!!].
    Large is indeed an adjective which does not have any influence on the subject-verb agreement.
    See also Mykwyner`s [ who is a native !]agreement on this problem of English grammar

    and some more examples :

    Expressions using the phrase "number of" depend on the meaning of the phrase:
    They take a singular verb when referring to a single quantity:
    The number of students registered in the class is 20.
    They take plural verbs when they are used as indefinite quantifiers :
    A number of students were late.
    Expressions of Quantity

    Subjects preceded by the number of or the percentage of are singular, while subjects preceded by a number of or a percentage of are plural.
     Example: The number of vacationers in Florida is increasing.
     Example: A number of vacationers are young people. However, a large percentage of the vacationers are senior citizens.
    Subject-Verb Agreement



    Best wishes
    Last edited by Teia; 10-Jan-2007 at 19:09.

  9. #9
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default Re: subject verb agreement

    Quote Originally Posted by teia_petrescu View Post
    Hi Svartnik
    I`m sorry but I have to contradict you.
    As I have already explained "a number of" is a determiner and the subject is
    "workers" in the sentence : A large numbers of workers are on strike.
    Large is indeed an adjective which does not have any influence on the subject-verb agreement.
    See also Mykwyner`s [ who is a native !]agreement on this problem of English grammar
    Best wishes
    Hi

    Being a native and being a grammarian are two things, IMO.
    Do not take me wrong, I am not saying Mike is not the best grammarian in the world.
    What is news to me is that the subject of the sentence is the object a preposition (of)

  10. #10
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default Re: subject verb agreement

    Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press
    "SLIGHTLY FORMAL A large number of invitations has been sent."
    Why is the verb in singular here, then?

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