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Are these correct? What do they mean?

1. One in ten say they will buy it. (What is the subject here? It is not 'one'? What does it mean?)
2. One in ten says they will buy it. (The subject here is 'one' ? What does this mean compared to #1?)

Thanks.
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Hello Jack

I guess 'one in ten' is an ellipsis of 'one in ten of the people'. So it should be taken as a kind of plural noun like 'many of the people'. Therefore my choice is #1. But some people would say like #2 if they want to be hypercorrect in grammar.

paco
I guess 'one in ten' is an ellipsis of 'one in ten of the people'. So it should be taken as a kind of plural noun like 'many of the people'. Therefore my choice is #1. But some people would say like #2 if they want to be hypercorrect in grammar


1. One in ten of the people says.... (Still, the subject here is 'one' ? Isn't it?)
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Hello Jack

I'm afraid a bit I could not understand correctly what you are asking. But I'll try.

1). One in ten say they will buy it.
'One in ten' is a phrase that can be rephrased as 10%. This phrase is often used to report a result of some statistical study on the opinions about something among people. In such studied, the number of people surveyed (=sample size) usually exceeds one thousand. Suppose the sample size is 1200 people, then 'one in ten' is actually '120 persons'. This is why (educated) people take 'one in ten' as a plural noun and use the verb 'say'.

2). One in ten says they will buy it.
This is a saying a kid might say. The logic of this saying is very simple; the subject of this sentence should be 'one' and so the verb must be 'says'.

paco
Thanks Paco.

That post was really helpful.

So the same idea applies here?
1. One of out three houses have it. ('Have' is not 'has' right? This is like saying 33% of the people have it?)
Hello Jack

Yes you are absolutely right.
'One out of three houses' is '33 % of houses'. So the verb should be 'have'.

paco
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Hi, paco.

I have a different view on this.

"One in XYZ" is considered a singualr subject, I dare say.

ex)One in (every) 5 people has a car.

Let me cite part of the story stored in my computer.

In some ancient societies, the birth of twins was so rare as to be
considered a bad omen; twins were routinely killed or abandoned. But
these days, one in every 43 pregnancies brings twins.
Hello KoMt

Your posting is as cool as ever. I admire your linguistic sensibility.

As for this issue, the point is whether 'every' is contained in the 'one in (every) XYZ' or not.

paco
one in every 43 pregnancies brings twins.


So this is not correct? Or is it okay?
1. One in every 43 pregnancies bring twins. (If this is okay, how does the meaning compare with 'brings' ?)

Thanks.
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