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A number / the number


Although the expression 'a number' is strictly singular, the phrase 'a number of' is used with plural nouns (as what grammarians call a determiner). The verb should therefore be plural: 'A number of people are waiting for the bus'.

This is not the case with 'the number', which is still singular: 'The number of people here has increased since this morning.'

english/articles.txt · Last modified: 2009/04/28 19:33 by bajeluk