My Study Stuff

03/01/2012

number, range, total

Filed under: Extra — anlactunay @ 4:02 PM

number, range, total
The collective nouns NUMBER, RANGE and TOTAL take a SINGULAR VERB except when the focus is on the individual items in the group. When preceded by the definite article THE, they refer to a single entity and thus take a singular verb. When preceded by the indefinite article A, the focus is generally on the individual items, so these nouns normally, but not always, take a PLURAL VERB.

A large number of shoes WERE found the day after the concert.
The number of available flavours IS quite astounding.
A total of 50,000 people WERE present for the ceremony.
The total required IS $50,000.
A range of health services ARE available to the public.
A wide range of skills IS needed to do this job.

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