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    number of + Singular or Plural?


    number of + Singular or Plural?

    Ich habe geschrieben, "there is a number of remarks", denn number ist Singular. Stimmt diese Logik?

    Word verlangt nämlich von mir, "is" durch "are" zu ersetzen.
    Author dirk (236321) 20 Nov 07, 16:38
    Are a number of remarks. (AE)
    #1Authora20 Nov 07, 17:23
    BE would also use "are".
    #2AuthorShaples GB (251341) 20 Nov 07, 17:38
    related discussion: it are - grammar help please
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    related discussion: A number of + Singular / Plural?
    related discussion: "is" oder "are" ?
    related discussion: There is vs. there are
    Suche in allen Foren: singular
    demand, %, etc 8/2/04 -- missing thread?


    Again, singular/plural agreement in English is different from German. There are a number of discussions in the archive on expressions of quantity and amounts. There are also a number of explanations on the internet for ESL learners (and confused natives). Maybe this thread will be easier to find when people search in the archive.

    'There are a number of remarks' is right because 'a number (lot, variety, etc.) of' is a fixed phrase that means 'some,' 'several,' or 'many.' Try to think of such phrases as being special invariable or indefinite counting expressions, somewhat like 'ein paar.' In English, they're adjectives answering the question 'How many/much?' rather than nouns answering the question 'What/Who?'


    Some of the advice is bad.
    Some of the suggestions are good.
    Half of the cake was left over.
    Half of the cookies were left over.
    The rest of the project was postponed.
    The rest of the meetings were postponed.
    There is a lot of information.
    There are a lot of books on this topic.
    There are a number of books on this topic.
    A number of experts disagree.
    A number of the suggestions so far have been confusing.
    There are a variety of options.
    A majority of German speakers are confused by this topic.
    A high percentage of German speakers find this topic confusing.
    A high percentage of the energy used for heating houses comes from coal.
    A total of 2845 German speakers reading this thread are now tearing their hair.


    The number of participants is limited.
    The number of white marbles is smaller than the number of black marbles.
    The number of hits on our new web page has been growing steadily.
    The number of the magazine issue is printed on the cover next to the date.
    There is a number that goes in this space in the puzzle.
    What is the number of the license plate?
    The variety of colors in the painting is astonishing.
    The majority in the Florida elections was razor-thin.
    The percentage of right answers has increased.
    The total comes to $126.83.

    #3Author hm -- us (236141) 20 Nov 07, 18:00
    Should have searched the archive more thoroghly. *blush*

    Thanks, hm--us. Now I even remember to have understood this earlier. My German mind was taking possession of me.
    #4Author dirk (236321) 20 Nov 07, 18:29
    Don't worry, it's no problem. That's why I put in the links, because I remembered having discussed this before a lot too, but it was harder to find things about it in the archive than I expected.

    And if you have trouble remembering it, a number of other people probably also find it confusing. So you can consider it your good deed for the day. (-:
    #5Author hm -- us (236141) 20 Nov 07, 19:05
    And actually, I remember "remember" being one of these obscure verbs that have different meanings when combined with the infinitive or the gerund. Thanks for the hint.

    Not one of my best days, apparently ...
    #6Author dirk (236321) 20 Nov 07, 20:47
    Was ist mit dem Werbespruch "There IS more reasons to shop at Morrisons"? Falsch?
    #7AuthorShopper21 Nov 07, 13:40
    The slogan is: "More reasons to shop at Morrisons"
    #8Authort21 Nov 07, 14:34
    Regarding "there's", it is often used in place of "there are", even though this is wrong and ungrammatical!
    This occurs much more commonly in conversation than in writing. (However, if the mode of conversation involves writing, such as via internet chat, email, personal letters, etc., "there's" still pops up)


    There's a lot of movies at the cinema. = "there are"
    I think there's 500 people waiting in line to buy tickets to the Bob Dylan concert. = "there are"

    --Even though this isn't the actual slogan, if they had used "there's", it might be like this:
    There's more reasons to shop at Morrisons. = "there are"
    There's more at Morrisons. = "There is more" or "There is more [stuff]" or "There are more [things]"

    If someone told you there is a lot of video games at Meijers, you might say in response:
    There's more at Morrisons. = "There are more [video games]"

    However, I'm starting to get into the topic of implied subjects, so I'll stop here.

    In short, there's many occurances of the improper use of "there's" - it sounds perfectly normal to most speakers. I've probably even written it this way in English papers without being marked off for a grammatical error.
    It is used so commonly since "there're" does not exist as a contraction.
    #9AuthorGuest04 Dec 08, 13:18
    Just for the record, belatedly, there're does indeed exist, and many of us who prefer consistent singular/plural agreement use it. But that has been discussed in other threads.
    #10Author hm -- us (236141) 05 Apr 11, 20:01
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