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Subject:Re: Help with sentence (plural verb) From:Guy Haas <ghaas -at- NETSCAPE -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 30 Oct 1996 10:58:24 -0700
At 12:44 PM 10/30/96 -0500, Elsa Kapitan-White wrote:
>Sue Heim asks , which is correct:
>>...more may be required if a high number of records *is* retrieved
>>...more may be required if a high number of records *are* retrieved
>I second Thom's choice that the first is correct. The second version
>appears correct because the verb is separated from the subject in the
>clause by the intervening plural "records." The quantity of a "high
>number" has a singular context.
I would like to agree with Tom and Elsa, but there is this nagging
We are taught in tech writing not so say "a lot".
In this example, if we DID say "a lot", it would read
...more may be required if a lot of records *are* retrieved
throwing the focus onto the records.
Now, now is "a lot of" different from "a number of"?
What APPEARS to be a prepositional phrase modifying "number"
is not really. What we have here is "a high number of"
modifying "records." It's not (lapsing into diagramming)