[Vocabulary] a lot of our audience?

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LiuJing

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Our performance has a big audience.
..... A lot of our audience are from the neighboring State of New Jersey.

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Can we use the phrase 'a lot of our audience' to refer to the people who come to see our performance?

Thank you.
 

BobK

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:up:

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Barb_D

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I would use the singular "is" for audience.

Don't capitalize the S in state.
 

BobK

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I thought of that, but I thought the 'lot of' was enough to make either acceptable. ;-)

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bertietheblue

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I would use the singular "is" for audience.

Don't capitalize the S in state.

I'm with BobK here, except I would definitely use 'are', in my case since an audience is composed of people with individual identities living at different addresses in New Jersey. And also I'm not sure you can support saying:

A lot of the people in our audience come [plural]
A lot of our audience comes ... [singular]

when it's the same 'a lot' doing the coming.

As for 'State' I think it's fine to capitalise the 'S'. Why?

State/state is like Government/government. Just as we say 'the French Govenment'/'the French government', we can say 'the state of New Jersey'/'the State of New Jersey'. I believe there are certain preferences:

I live in the state of New Jersey (preferred where the meaning is the geographical territory)
An official of the State of New Jersey (preferred where the meaning is the state government) - see at www.nj.gov

but it's not set in stone. If you type in these exact phrases in google:

"lives in the state of new jersey"

"the government of the state of new jersey"

and then try a few more states, you'll see that it's pretty arbitrary whether 'state' or 'State' is used - it's certainly not a blanket case of 'Don't capitalize".
 

philo2009

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Our performance has a big audience.
..... A lot of our audience are from the neighboring State of New Jersey.

----------------------------------

Can we use the phrase 'a lot of our audience' to refer to the people who come to see our performance?

Thank you.

Communicatively acceptable perhaps, but stylistically a rather poor choice to my mind. 'A large proportion of our audience' sounds much better to me.

My "discomfort" is on account not of the phrase 'a lot of', which I would consider perfectly usable in, say

A lot of the coffee has been drunk.

but of its combination here with a group noun like 'audience', i.e. a grammatically singular word referring to a collection of distinct individuals. In such cases, 'a lot of' strikes me as rather strange.

For much the same reason, I would prefer a large part/proportion of the population to ?a lot of the population.
 
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