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Which verb is correct?

There are a growing number of tour operators.

There is a growing number of tour operators.
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Comments  (Page 2) 
GoodmanThere is a growing number of tour operators. – is a singular collective noun. although “operators” looks” as if it’s a plural noun.
Actually the subject of the verb is number and the grammatically correct form is singular. Misuse among native speakers is widespread in this context, for example:
a number of people is... this is gramatically correct but sounds alien, while
a number of people are... is gramatically incorrect but is the accepted form
AnonymousAccording to the Chicago Manual of style "The number" is singular, while "A number" is plural.
Hi Anon, Very interesting....

Out of curiosity, I'd like to ask you, what would you pick for the these sentences?

1) There (are / is) a growing number of Chinese immigrants purchaing homes in this city.

2) The population of Chinese immigrants (have/ has ) increased 50% in the past 5 years.

3) The state government's statistics ( have/ has ) shown a growing trend of geographical population redistribution among it's residents.
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Actually the subject of the verb is number and the grammatically correct form is singular. Misuse among native speakers is widespread in this context, for example:
a number of people is... this is gramatically correct but sounds alien, while
a number of people are... is gramatically incorrect but is the accepted form

The expression "a number of" is like "a lot of" and "the rest of" and several others. Grammarians call these 'number transparent expressions' because the correct verb agreement is with the word after such an expression. It is actually grammatically incorrect to base agreement on the first word of such a 'number transparent' expression.

All languages contain irregularities. Another irregularity in English is seen in the verb go. If it were regular, the past of go would be goed. The correct, but irregular, form for the past of go is went.

Now you wouldn't make the comments below, would you?

We goed to the concert. This is grammatically correct but sounds alien, while
We went to the concert. is grammatically incorrect but is the accepted form.
(Misuse among native speakers is common.)


Have you perhaps accidentally used the words correct and incorrect when you meant regular and irregular? And how can the correct use of an irregular form be considered misuse, I wonder.

CJ
There is no such word as goed in the English language and it certainly is not gramatically correct. In American English the past of dive is dove but dived is what is used in English.
CalifJim
Actually the subject of the verb is number and the grammatically correct form is singular. Misuse among native speakers is widespread in this context, for example:
a number of people is... this is gramatically correct but sounds alien, while
a number of people are... is gramatically incorrect but is the accepted form
The expression "a number of" is like "a lot of" and "the rest of" and several others. Grammarians call these 'number transparent expressions' because the correct verb agreement is with the word after such an expression. It is actually grammatically incorrect to base agreement on the first word of such a 'number transparent' expression.

All languages contain irregularities. Another irregularity in English is seen in the verb go. If it were regular, the past of go would be goed. The correct, but irregular, form for the past of go is went.

Now you wouldn't make the comments below, would you?

We goed to the concert. This is grammatically correct but sounds alien, while
We went to the concert. is grammatically incorrect but is the accepted form.
(Misuse among native speakers is common.)


Have you perhaps accidentally used the words correct and incorrect when you meant regular and irregular? And how can the correct use of an irregular form be considered misuse, I wonder.

CJ

Hi CJ,

Perhaps it's the early Monday syndrome. I am not sure if I understood what you tried to say...

<<< The expression "a number of" is like "a lot of" and "the rest of" and several others. Grammarians call these 'number transparent expressions' because the correct verb agreement is with the word after such an expression. It is actually grammatically incorrect to base agreement on the first word of such a 'number transparent' expression>>>

So with expressions such as "a number of", "a lot of" and "the rest of", is it singular or plural? Now I am really curious.Emotion: big smile
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CalifJimWe goed to the concert. This is grammatically correct but sounds alien, while
We went to the concert. is grammatically incorrect but is the accepted form.
(Misuse among native speakers is common.)


This is a pandemic use error and has nothing to do with verb irregularities. If you check older grammar books (especially British ones) you'll find this type dumbing down for the uneducated masses was unacceptable.
So with expressions such as "a number of", "a lot of" and "the rest of", is it singular or plural? Now I am really curious.
It is not a matter of whether those expressions are singular or plural. They are neither, in the sense that verb agreement does not depend on them at all. Verb agreement depends on the noun that follows them, thus:

Unfortunately, a lot of meat spoils whenever the refrigerator goes on the blink. [agreement: meat - spoils; not lot - spoils]
A lot of things were missing from the shipment. [
agreement: things - were; not lot - was]

The rest of the sugar is usually added to the mixture later. [sugar - is;
not rest - is]
The rest of his children
have gone on to advanced studies. [children - have; not rest - has]

A number of theories have been developed to explain this new astronomical phenomenon. [theories - have;
not number - has]

There is no possibility of placing a singular noun after the expression 'a number of'. Therefore, it cannot be illustrated in that role here except as a semantic anomaly, thus: *A number of wine is quite tasty. It is only because of this that you may say that 'a number of' always takes a plural verb -- because we already know that only a plural noun can follow it. But this is not the case for number-transparent expressions in general, as you can see from the other examples above.

It is better to think of 'a number of' as an ordinary number-transparent expression which, like other number-transparent expressions, governs the verb from the noun that follows. The fact that only a plural can follow 'a number of' is just icing on the cake!

CJ
This is a pandemic use error and has nothing to do with verb irregularities.
I don't believe you've grasped the point of my post. That's OK. Maybe if you read it again. Emotion: smile

CJ
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Hi CJ,

Thanks for your response. From reading your previous post, I need to reaffirm my own understanding.

So if I understand your explanation correctly, the correct answers to the following sentence should be:

There is a lot questions which need/ needs to be answered.

There was / were a great deal of confusions at that moment…..

There was a few among us who still believe /believes that ……

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