A few weeks ago, someone ESL-Library.com us by email to ask if the grammar on our homepage was correct. In the lesson on Protests in the Middle East, this phrase has sowed confusion: «In recent years, there has been an increasing number of peaceful and violent demonstrations.» The person wanted to know if «… there is an increasing number of… It`s true. That shouldn`t be the case.» it has an increasing number of… » ? Sometimes names take strange forms and can fool us to think that they are plural if they are truly singular and vice versa. You`ll find more help in the section on plural forms of nouns and in the section on collective nouns. Words such as glasses, pants, pliers and scissors are considered plural (and require plural verbs), unless they are followed by the pair of sentences (in this case, the pair of words becomes subject). Possible duplicate: a number of questions «was» or «was» asked? Pronouns are neither singular nor singular and require singular verbs, even if they seem, in a certain sense, to refer to two things. Some indeterminate pronouns are particularly annoying Everyone and everyone (listed above, too) certainly feel like more than one person and therefore students are sometimes tempted to use a plural verb with them.
But they`re still unique. Everyone often follows a prepositionphrase that ends with a majority word (each of the cars), which confuses the verb code. Similarly, everyone is always singular and requires a singular verb. Verbs in contemporary form for third parties, s-subjects (him, them, them and all that these words can represent) have s-endings. Other verbs do not add s-endings. The indeterminate pronouns of each, each, no, no, no one, are always singular and therefore require singular verbs. This question often baffles our students! The problem is that the subject verb agreement for the terms «a number» and «the number of» is different. This is how I usually explain it to my students: they take a singular verb when they refer to a single quantity: what about the «increasing number of evidence»? the growing body of evidence shows that… It`s true? Can «number» be used with countless nouns? This is a peculiarity of the «number» as a grouping nostun. If you had rather said «group», then the singular would have been right: split expressions like half, part of, a percentage, a majority of are sometimes singular and sometimes plural, depending on the meaning. (The same is true, of course, when all, all, more, most and some act as subjects.) The totals and products of mathematical processes are expressed in singular and require singular verbs. The phrase «more than one» (weirdly) takes on a singular verb: «More than one student has tried to do so.» I put this sentence in a word processing program and point out an error that should be «is.
Sometimes modifiers come between a subject and its verb, but these modifiers should not confuse the match between the subject and his verb. Which one is the right one? The number of 28 obese young people or a number of 28 obese young people? Hello Ozzie, sorry for the late reply. For some reason, I have not received any notification of your comment. To answer your question, no, we can never use «a series» with countless subversives. You could use «a lot of,» i.e. «a large/large amount of evidence.» It`s possible to use «growth» there, but I don`t think it sounds great with countless substantives. «Great» or «super» is better.