Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Singular and Plural with Expression Example

An expression of an amount may be singular or plural: An expression of an amount is singular when the amount is thought of as a unit and is plural when the amount is thought of as many parts.

Examples:
Five thousand bricks is a heavy load for this truck. (The bricks are thought of as a unit).
Five thousand bricks are what we need. (The bricks are thought of separately).

A fraction or a percentage is singular when it refers to a singular word and is plural when it refers to a plural word.

Examples:
One fourth of the student body is employed part-time after school. (The fraction refers to the singular noun student body.)
One fourth of the students are employed after school. (The fraction refers to the plural noun students.)
Seventy-five percent of the junior class is sixteen years old. (The percentage refers to the singular noun class.)
Seventy-five percent of the juniors are sixteen years old. (The percentage refers to the plural noun juniors.)

Expressions of measurement (length, weight, capacity, area) are usually singular.

Examples:
Four and seven-tenths inches is the diameter of a CD.
Eight fluid ounces equals one cup.
Two hundred kilometres was the distance we flew in the hot-air balloon.

Note: In the expression of number, the word number is singular when preceded by the and is plural when preceded by a.

Examples:
The number of students taking computer courses has increased.

A number of students taking computer courses belong to the Computer Club.

Task: Selecting verbs that agree with their subjects - For each of the following sentences, identify the subject of each verb in parentheses. Then choose the verb form that agrees
in number with the subject.

Example: The band (is, are) tuning their instruments. band - are

1. The gigantic Colossus of Rhodes (was, were) one of the SevenWonders of the AncientWorld.
2. The stage crew (is, are) working together to make a rapid scene change for Hamlet’s entrance.
3. On display in the entrance to the library, there (is, are) several oil paintings of famous local people.
4. In our block alone, over two hundred rupees (was, were) collected for the Cancer Society.
5. Rice and dhal (is, are) often served as a main dish at lunch.
6. Either brisk walks or jogging (serves, serve) as daily exercise.
7. A number of the seeds (has, have) failed to sprout.

The title of a creative work (such as a book, song, film, or painting) or the name of a country (even if it is plural in form) takes a singular verb:

Examples: Those who ride the night winds was written by the poetNikki Giovanni.
“Tales from the Vienna Woods” is only one of Johann
Strauss’s most popular waltzes.
The United States calls its flag “Old Glory”.
The Philippines comprises more than 7,000 islands.

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