I am confused, help please


In this sentence, "almost half of the students are female" and I should use 'are' or 'is'another sentence 'it should depend on students' academic record and integrative capability' Should I say 'academic records and integrative capabilities ' as the sentence used 'students'

asked Jun 17 '13 at 04:16 wangfa627 New member

1 answer


Your first question involves grammar. Let's walk through the grammar. As you know, the subject and the verb must agree in number. In your sentence -- "Almost half of the students are female." -- the subject is half. But is half singular or plural? Unlike most other nouns, half is not inherently singular or plural. You determine its number by asking ... half of what? If the what is singular -- half an apple -- then the subject is singular and the verb follows. But if the what is plural -- half of the students -- then the subject is plural and the verb follows.


Half an aople is on the table. Half of the students are female.


Your second question is really a matter of logic, not grammar. Unfortunately, you don't provide enough information about your intended meaning for me to answer. Are you talking about the records and capability as a collective aggregate -- in which case it should be the singular record and capability. Or are you talking about multiple students each considered individually?


Consider: if you can substitute the collectective noun "class" for "students", then record and capability should be singular. I suspect this is the case because you used the plural possessive "students'". But if your meaning is unchanged when you substitute "each student's", then records and capabilities should be plural.


I hope this helps.

link answered Jun 17 '13 at 04:53 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

A good explanation

subbuJun 17 '13 at 16:57

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