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"A number" and "the number" and the agreement of verb


    Author:     Member Level: Silver    Points: 5 (Rs 5)

We often get confused in a complex sentence whether to use singular verb or a plural verb. When in a sentence "a number" appears then the verb would be plural. But when in a sentence "the number" appears, singular verb is used.

"A number" takes a plural verb, but "the number" takes a singular verb.

Refer to the examples given below.


Sample Usage

Right: A number of people were delighted because the number of edits was so low.
Wrong: A number of people was delighted because the number of edits was so low.
Wrong: A number of people were delighted because the number of edits were so low.

Right: A number of people were happy to see in the newspaper that the number of accidents was so less.
Wrong: A number of people was happy to see in the newspaper that the number of accidents was so less.
Wrong: A number of people were happy to see in the newspaper that the number of accidents were so less.


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