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    #1

    A total of ... was/were

    A total of 46% of the participants was/were from Tokyo.

    In the above sentence, which should I use, was or were?
    It should depends of the subject, but I'm not sure which of "total", "46%", or "subjects" is the subject.

    (I asked this to two American people. One said it's "was", and the other said it's "were". I look forward to a reply from other native speakers.)

  1. Roman55's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: A total of ... was/were

    I am not a teacher.

    This is the sort of question that will probably elicit different answers from BrE and AmE speakers.

    As far as I am concerned, if the percentage is of something countable then the verb is in the plural. If it's a percentage of something uncountable you use the singular.

    So, 'A total of 46% of the participants were from Tokyo' but 'A total of 46% of the economy is generated in Tokyo'.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: A total of ... was/were

    When the subject is a part of the whole, the object of the following preposition usually determines the number of the verb. In your sentence, I would use "were".

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    #4

    Re: A total of ... was/were

    José Manuel Rosón Bravo

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: A total of ... was/were

    Good citation, even if I do say so myself.

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    #6

    Re: A total of ... was/were

    Thank you all.
    Let me just confirm.
    What's the subject of this sentence? 46%?

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: A total of ... was/were

    The subject is "total".

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