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Hi

Could you please help me here? Which sentence is grammatically better?


There are a limited number of available shirts/options etc.

There is a limited number of available shirts/options etc.

Thanks,

Tom

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I prefer the first. The subject is logically plural, and I prefer not to get hung up on the fact that "a number" is grammatically singular. Others may take a different view.
Thanks, Mr. Wordy, but is the second sentence incorrect?

Tom
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Hi Tom

Here is a general rule of thumb:

- a number of (plural noun) are --> i.e. typically used with a plural verb

- the number of (plural noun) is --> i.e. typically used with a singular verb
No, not in my view, in fact I believe it to be the correct version. By inserting the word number, the plurality of the shirts becomes irrelevant as we are now focusing on the singular word: number.

The word number would have to be plural as in "there are limited numbers of available shirts", for are to be correct.

- In fact inserting a before limited, as shown in both sentences, helps emphasise the singularity.
Thanks, Anonymous, I respect your point of view, BUT, do you think that the input given by the two native speakers could be misleading/wrong? I do NOT think so.

Tom
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Mr. TomThanks, Mr. Wordy, but is the second sentence incorrect?

In my view, no.
Mr. TomThanks, Mr. Wordy, but is the second sentence incorrect?

Tom

Anonymous, yesterday 6:06 pm



No, not in my view, in fact I believe it to be the correct version. By inserting the word number, the plurality of the shirts becomes irrelevant as we are now focusing on the singular word: number.

The word number would have to be plural as in "there are limited numbers of available shirts", for are to be correct.

- In fact inserting a before limited, as shown in both sentences, helps emphasise the singularity.
Mr. TomThanks, Anonymous, I respect your point of view, BUT, do you think that the input given by the two native speakers could be misleading/wrong? I do NOT think so.

Tom

Of course not Tom, they're both easily understood and above all, clear in meaning.

However, as this is an English grammar forum, I took it as read, that you posting such an easily understood question was an open invitation to 'split hairs', without anyone taking offence. You haven't taken offence have you? It's just that your use of words in their UPPER CASE format, when not used to highlight a quote etc., is usually interpreted by one-and-all as SHOUTING. You weren't shouting AT ME, were you Tom? (My very first post too) Emotion: sad

I thought it might have been due to my posting as those infamous 'anonymous' people (I happened to stumble on this site seeking help with a word and became intrigued) if that's the case then I've duly signed in to give myself an identity.

P.S. If you were only highlighting - and not shouting, then please accept my apologies; I'm new here.

For native speakers, it is very obvious that: "There are a limited number of shirts available"

For an explanation of the singular/plural issue, see: http://www.askoxford.com/asktheexperts/faq/aboutgrammar/numberofpeople

ML
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