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    #1

    is or are

    What will be appropriate in the following sentence--is or are?
    There are (or is) a considerable number of people of Polish origin now living in Cleveland.

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    #2

    Re: is or are

    Quote Originally Posted by sane View Post
    What will be appropriate in the following sentence--is or are?
    There are (or is) a considerable number of people of Polish origin now living in Cleveland.
    'There are' is correct, because "a considerable number" is plural.


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    #3

    Re: is or are

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    'There are' is correct, because "a considerable number" is plural.
    Let us be precise: this is not plural. The sense it conveys is plural. In 'a considerable number", the head of the noun-phrase is 'number', which is a singular noun. The plural is 'numbers'.

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    #4

    Re: is or are

    Quote Originally Posted by Kondorosi View Post
    Let us be precise: this is not plural. The sense it conveys is plural. In 'a considerable number", the head of the noun-phrase is 'number', which is a singular noun. The plural is 'numbers'.


    "a considerable number" is plural in meaning, and fits with the plural noun "people".
    Are you happier with this statement?

  1. fighting spirit's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: is or are

    Grammatically, is would be correct.
    "A considerable number is ambiguous and leading in two directions, but it is not a plural form although it refers to group of people.
    A as an indefinite article is used only for singular nouns. If we drop considerable, we have a number, which is a singular form.

    Finally, There is a considerable number of people of Polish origin now living in Cleveland

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    #6

    Re: is or are

    Quote Originally Posted by sane View Post
    What will be appropriate in the following sentence--is or are?
    There are (or is) a considerable number of people of Polish origin now living in Cleveland.
    ***NOT A TEACHER***(1) Many teachers suggest that you ignore the word "there" when analyzing. (2) Thus, we have: A considerable number of people of Polish origin are/is now living in Cleveland. (3) One popular grammar book followed by many American teachers gives this rule: A NUMBER OF = PLURAL; THE NUMBER OF = SINGULAR. (4) Thus, your sentence (which I have simplified for easier analysis) probably should read: A number of Polish people are now living in Cleveland. (There ARE a number of Polish people now. ...)

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    #7

    Re: is or are

    Please continue the debate. I want to get more inputs from other people. It seems to me that both 'is' and 'are' should be correct here.
    Thanks for your participation in the discussion.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: is or are

    I would say that grammatically "is" and "are" are possible, but "is" doesn't sound right. I would go for "are".

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    #9

    Re: is or are

    I am really confused

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    #10

    Re: is or are

    Quote Originally Posted by fighting spirit View Post
    Grammatically, is would be correct. I don't agree.
    "A considerable number is ambiguous It's not ambiguous at all; it means 'many'.
    and leading in two directions, but it is not a plural form It obviously has a plural meaning . although it refers to group of people.
    A as an indefinite article is used only for singular nouns. I don't agree. What about 'A dozen people are coming.'?

    Would you say 'A dozen people is coming.'? I sure wouldn't.

    If we drop considerable, we have a number, which is a singular form. But we are not talking about a number; we are talking about people.

    "number" is singular in a sentence like 'A higher number is predicted.'
    2006

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