I want to say within a sentence the following "....and a sizable quantity of weapons was seized near the village of .....".
It feels like I should say "weapons were siezed"
Which way is correct in this contect.
A [small/large] quantity of weapons were seized - here 'A quantity of' equates to 'they'
but if we drop the 'of + noun' we are talking about the 'quantity' which is singular:
A quantity was seized
A common example is the use of the plural with 'a number of':
A [large] number of people were queuing up to vote outside the polling station - here 'a number of' equates to 'they'
The number of people queuing up to vote is incredible! - with 'the' you are talking about the 'number' so we use the singular
During the raid, large quantities of cocaine (was) were seized at Beirut port
The plural form is used in phases like: in large/small/sufficient etc quantities; as:
Green tea can be harmful if taken in large quantities
Glucose is used in large quantities for medical purposes
Buy vegetables in small quantities, for your immediate use.
Last edited by sarat_106; 26-May-2010 at 08:39.