the phrase "a large number" takes is or are?
Please see the following sentence and advise me whether it is right or wrong?
An inference may be drawn from this estimation that a very large number of companies are involved in the military business, which indicates the breadth and depth of the business.
"[...] a very large number of companies are involved [...]" sounds wrong to me, in terms of grammatical congruence.
To my understanding, "a large number" is singular, not plural (otherwise, it should read something like"several/some large numbers"). The part "are involved" goes back to "a large number", not "companies". You wouldn't say "a very large number are involved". Thus, it should be either of the following:
"A very large number of companies is involved" (sing.: a large number is)
"Many companies are involved" (plur.: many are)
The same goes for other languages, for example German:
"Eine sehr große Anzahl von Unternehmen ist beteiligt" (sing.: eine große Anzahl ist)
"Viele Unternehmen sind beteiligt" (plur.: viele sind)
Think about it...
|link comment||answered Mar 05 at 12:22 Sascha Mauel New member|
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