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the number of two sets of numbers I see a sentence below: "Since 2002, the number of inhabitants both the north and the south has remained steady." Why not "Since 2002, the NUMBERS of inhabitants both the north and the south HAVE remained steady"? I know the number of sth followed by a singular verb, but there are two sets of numbers, south and north. Thank you.
Oct 7, 2016 10:56 AM
Answers · 3
We're pluralizing "number of inhabitant", not "number", is perhaps the easiest answer. Here it's somewhat a matter of convention, though. Usually we would only pluralize "number" if we're not using another qualifier. We might say "Their numbers have grown", but as soon as we add, say 'people', 'cats', that word takes over the job of carrying the plural.
October 7, 2016
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language