Yi Wen
A growing number of Is the phrase "a growing number of" a singular or plural? For example: There are a growing number of students choosing to study abroad, although it is expensive. There is a growing number of students choosing to study abroad, although it is expensive. Which sentence is correct?
May 19, 2016 5:00 AM
Answers · 10
The rules are these: 1. There ARE a growing number of students choosing... (The real subject is "students", which is plural. "A growing number of" is just another way of saying "more and more"; it serves the function of an indefinite pronoun. Some, more, etc are called indefinite pronouns.) 2. A growing number of students ARE choosing to ... (The subject is "students", which is plural.) 3. The number of students choosing to study abroad HAS been growing rapidly. (The subject is "number", which is singular.)
May 19, 2016
"A growing number of" is obviously plural, so your first sentence is correct. But when people say "There is" or "There's", they don't care much about the plurality as it is just a filler. So they often just say "There's a number of ...", especially because it sounds smoother than "There are ...". But in writing and formal speeches, we should use "There are a growing number of students". If "A number of" ("growing" is incidental and its presence doesn't change anything) is treated as singular, then we should also say "A number of people DIES in auto accidents every year", but do we? As far as I know, no one says "dies" whether it be in speech or writing, because "A number of ..." means "a multitude of", which is plural. Here's an article about this topic: http://theweek.com/articles/447879/theres-number-reasons-grammar-headline-could-infuriate
May 19, 2016
There IS a growing number of students -because there is only ONE number. There are many students, but only ONE 'number' of students. Hope that helps.
May 19, 2016
Yes. Russell is correct. "Students" is plural, but "a growing number" is singular. The article "a" usually refers to one thing. The plural would be "growing numbers". There are growing numbers... There is a growing number...
May 19, 2016
THANK YOU! At last, a straight, simple answer, instead of 800 words of preliminary — and usually pointless — twaddle.
December 22, 2022
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