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    #1

    Singular or Plural?

    In the "Singular or Plural" test on this site I have found two questions to be very confusing. Q10 - 'A number of is followed by a _______verb' (Ans. Plural) & Q11 - 'The number of' is followed by a _______ verb' (Ans. Singular).

    What is the difference, I still havent been able to figure this one out!


    Regards,


    Syed

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    #2

    Re: Singular or Plural?

    Quote Originally Posted by riderinthestorm View Post
    In the "Singular or Plural" test on this site I have found two questions to be very confusing. Q10 - 'A number of is followed by a _______verb' (Ans. Plural) & Q11 - 'The number of' is followed by a _______ verb' (Ans. Singular).

    What is the difference, I still havent been able to figure this one out!


    Regards,


    Syed
    A number of is indefinite, while the number of is definite.

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    #3

    Re: Singular or Plural?

    Quote Originally Posted by riderinthestorm View Post
    In the "Singular or Plural" test on this site I have found two questions to be very confusing. Q10 - 'A number of is followed by a _______verb' (Ans. Plural) & Q11 - 'The number of' is followed by a _______ verb' (Ans. Singular).

    What is the difference, I still havent been able to figure this one out!

    Syed
    "A number of" means more than one.
    A number of people are going to see that report.

    "The number of" is eventually followed by an actual number or by a descriptive term. In either case it takes a singular verb, usually "is".
    The number of people going to see that report is (five)(small)(unknown).


    The above is a short summary, and there may be some exceptions.

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