Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. keannu's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Dec 2010
    • Posts: 5,226
    #1

    percentage, singular or plural?

    "percentage" seems to be treated as singular or plural without any fixed rule. How can you define its plurality? When does it take a singular form and when plural, especially in case of "A of B" form?

    =====================
    It is said that a music student once approached Mozart and asked him for advice on what he should compose and how he should do it to create something really good. Mozart took a good look at him and said, "You are still young. I think you should start with composing a duet." This young man got upset and told Mozart that he too was still young, and that since he had composed more serious music than duets, why shouldn't he? Mozart replied, "That is true, but I did not go around asking people what to compose. I knew what to do." The point is that many have attempted to create great art, but only a very tiny p
    ercentage have become true masters.
    Last edited by keannu; 18-Jun-2015 at 09:55.

  2. teechar's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Iraq
      • Current Location:
      • Iraq

    • Join Date: Feb 2015
    • Posts: 6,180
    #2

    Re: percentage, singular or plural?

    If you're referring to the percentage number, then treat it as singular.

    The percentage of infant mortality is considered quite high by most health authorities in that country.


    If you're referring to the actual thing that the percentage represents, then treat it as plural.

    A high percentage of elderly residents have substandard services.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    #3

    Re: percentage, singular or plural?

    You example expresses the rule that a word that is a part of a whole derives its number from the object of the preposition that follows it. It is a good and useful rule. But it doesn't really apply to the OP's sentence. One could argue that there is an elided prepositional phrase after "percentage".

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 23-Feb-2013, 18:05
  2. both + singular or plural?
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-Mar-2009, 17:25
  3. singular or plural?
    By renetta in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 24-Jan-2009, 17:43
  4. singular or plural
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-Jan-2007, 04:50
  5. singular/plural
    By rajlakh in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 31-Dec-2006, 19:05

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •