With fractions, percentages and indefinite quantifiers
, the verb agrees with the preceding noun or clause. With singular
nouns or clauses, use a singular
One third of this article is
taken up with statistical analysis.
All of the book seems relevant
to this study.
Half of what he writes is
About fifty percent of the job is
All the information is
With plural nouns
, use plural verbs:
One third of the students have
Fifty percent of the computers have
Many researchers depend
on grants from industry.
With collective nouns
, use either singular or plural, depending on whether you want to emphasize the single group or its individual members:
Half of my family lives/live
All of the class is/are
Ten percent of the population is/are
The words majority
are used in a variety of ways. When majority/minority
mean an unspecified number more or less than 50%, use a singular
The majority holds
no strong views.
A small minority indicates
it supports the proposal.
mean a specific percentage, you may use either singular or plural:
A 75% majority have/has
voted against the measure.
A 10% minority are/is
opposed to the measure.
refers to a specified set of persons, use a plural
A majority of Canadians have
voted for change.
A minority of the students wish
to pay more.
Expressions of time, money and distance usually take singular
a great deal of money to a child.
Ten kilometres is
too far to walk.
Six weeks is
not long enough.
Adjectives preceded by the
and used as plural nouns take plural
The rich get
The poor have
Expressions using the phrase number of
take singular verbs when referring to a single quantity:
The number of
students registered in the class is
They take plural verbs when they are used as indefinite quantifiers (see rule 1 above):
A number of