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  5. "Et stort antall mennesker ko…

"Et stort antall mennesker kommer."

Translation:A large number of people are coming.

August 21, 2015



yes. Anything after "a number of" is plural. You can't a say "a large number of car" or "a large number of country" or indeed "a large number of person"

  • 1451

Thank you! Tusen takk! Vielen Dank! Merci beaucoup! Gracias muchos! Swiss German: "Merci vielmals"


well, I would say "a large number of cars is", which is what one actually says in italian. That's why this sentence always sounds strange to me :)


The verb has to agree with the subject, which in this case is "number" not "cars." And since "number" is a singular noun "is" is correct. ;-) In English and Italian, apparently.


Grammatically, this should be

-American English: A large number of people is coming.
-British English: A large number of people are coming.

Collective nouns are usually treated as plural in British and singular in American.


In practice, most Americans have the verb agree with the noun closest to it. So "A large number of people are coming" would be most common. But yes, collective nouns are treated as singular in AmE; we would never say "The band are touring the country" or "The government are spying on us".


M.G. Doyle raises a good point, which has to do with formal and informal registers. In Standard Written (American) English, the grammatically correct form is "A large number of people is . . . " because 'number' is the subject, and it's singular. The subject of a sentence is never found in a prepositional phrase such as 'of people;' a prepositional phrase always acts as a modifier, never as the subject itself. So, the subject requires 'is' rather than 'are.'

In spoken American English, which of course tends to be less formal overall, many people would use 'are' because, as M.G. has pointed out, it's the noun that is closer to the main verb.


Personally, I'd use "A large number of people is coming" only in writing. When you say it out loud, it just sounds wrong.

  • 1451

Is "a large number" plural?


In English, the verb only agrees with the noun, not with what it might be modifying. So, singular noun in English; numbers is the plural noun.


Isn't it antall av mennesker?

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