Grammar Tip – Numbers and Verbs
The BizWritingTip I sent recently regarding “between you and me” caused some questions regarding the word “number.”
I wrote “Between you and me, there are a number of people who don’t get it right.”
Questions then rose around the word “number.” Does “number” take a singular or a plural verb. In other words, should it be “the number is” or “the number are.”
This is an interesting grammar point. The way it works is that “the number” has a singular meaning and requires a singular verb.
The number of people who responded to the advertisement is higher than expected.
However, “a number” has a plural meaning and requires a plural verb.
A number of your emails have spelling errors.
Therefore, I still believe there are a number of people who do not understand that you must always use “between you and me.”