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Thread: numerus

    • Join Date: Mar 2006
    • Posts: 3



    Which is correct to say:

    less than fifty per cent of the people


    fewer than fifty per cent of the people?

    I think the second option should be the correct one since fifty per cent is plural and fewer is used with countables."Of the people" is only a prepositional attribute and as such simply part of the subject but not what I should call the subject proper with which the predicate is supposed to agree.

    Again, which version is to be preferred:

    A large percentage of the population were against nuclear weapons


    A large percentage of the population was against nuclear weapons?

    I look forward to your answering my questions. Please tell me also whether I put my questions correctly and understandably.

    Thank you.

  1. hector51's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2005
    • Posts: 241

    Re: numerus

    hi Eliyahu!

    though "fifty per cent" is a great amount but we just consider it singular (besides number,this also apply for money,time)so the 1st option is the right one.

    For an example:
    50 dollars is not enough for me to buy this chair!

    hope it helps


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