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  1. #1
    Oceanlike is offline Senior Member
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    Half of the country's population do/does not

    I'm unsure if I should use do nor does in the following sentence. I chose 'do', but I don't know why I'm correct if I'm correct or incorrect. Please help me to understand.

    - Half of the country's population do not have access to potable water.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: Half of the country's population do/does not

    Quote Originally Posted by Oceanlike View Post
    I'm unsure if I should use "do" or "does" in the following sentence. I chose 'do', but I don't know why I'm correct if I'm correct. or incorrect. Please help me to understand.

    - Half of the country's population do not have access to potable water.

    Thank you!
    Either can work. If your focus is on the (many) individual people, then your use of "do" is okay. Otherwise, you can use "does" to focus on half, e.g.,

    The other half does not have access to sewage facilities.

  3. #3
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: Half of the country's population do/does not

    We rarely use "potable" in BrE. We say "drinkable water" or "drinking water".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Half of the country's population do/does not

    British speakers tend to use the plural in such cases.

  5. #5
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Half of the country's population do/does not

    Only the singular does is natural in American English.
    I am not a teacher.

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