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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > half of the people is/are...?    

half of the people is/are...?



ajwon
Poland

half of the people is/are...?
 
Recently, I “ve had a problem at the lesson. How would you say: half of the people is...  or half of the people are....  ? Thanks in advance for your answers.

13 Jun 2009      



Lana.
Ireland

LOLajwon, there a very similar post just a few posts below, about "a large number of people", I think your question might generate at least a half of the large number of discussions and interesting opinions of that one...LOL LOL 

13 Jun 2009     



Mariethe House
France

Lana you make me laugh! Thank you!!

13 Jun 2009     



Apodo
Australia

 I would use:
 
Half of the people are
 
Half of the population is
 
I can “t think of a single example where I would use half of the people is.
 
                       
 
 

13 Jun 2009     



ajwon
Poland

I know that “the large number of people is “... is the correct answer /as in the previous post/ but I asked my ex-teacher from university about “half of the people... “ and he said: “half of the people are “ but it seems strange to me, that “s why I “m asking :)

13 Jun 2009     



Zora
Canada

"the large number of people is" - I would say is wrong... For two reasons...

It should be "A" - A large number of people... and "are" not "is"....

"A large number of people are..." is the correct form of the sentence...



13 Jun 2009     



anitarobi
Croatia

I “d say HALF THE PEOPLE HERE ARE... because people is only singular if it refers to a nation, not persons(and in your phrase it refers to your students, so persons)... and I “d drop the “of “... but let “s hear from some more people...

13 Jun 2009     



mjotab
Spain

Look at this thread (I coulnĀ“t post the link because it did not work), about fractions being "number transparent"

Fractions and percentages are "number transparent".  That is, when they are used as the subject of a sentence, the noun in the following "of" phrase determines the agreement with the verb.

A third of the tables are unoccupied.
Two thirds of the tables are unoccupied.
A third of the sugar is missing.
Two thirds of the sugar is missing.

Fifty percent of the managers were fired within one year.
Fifty percent of the money was destroyed in the fire.


If there is no "of" phrase, something else in the context should be used to make the determination.

If speaking of people (plural):

[One fifth / Twenty percent] have been notified.  (of the people implied.  The agreement is with people, not with either one (fifth) or twenty (percent)).



I didn “t know about that, I “m learning a lot here!

13 Jun 2009     



douglas
United States

http://www.eslprintables.com/forum/topic.asp?id=9401

13 Jun 2009     



pauguzman
Argentina

I asked to my Grammar teacher about this problem that generated too many discussions, and he clarified this.
 
THERE                       IS                                         A BOOK                        ON THE TABLE
 existencial              verb                             determiner +subject             complement
there                       that                                                   SING. NOUN
                           agrees with the subject
 
 
so, according to this analisys
 
 
THERE       ARE                A LOT OF              PEOPLE
                  verb              determiner           subject
                  in plural         (quantifier)
                 since people is plural
 
 
 
QUANTIFIERS WHICH ALWAYS TAKE "OF" BEFORE NOUNS
 
A COUPLE OF
DOZENS OF
HUNDREDS OF
THE MAYORITY OF                 PEOPLE/ BOOKS
A MINORITY OF
A NUMBER OF
HALF OF
 
Hope this clarifies our questions, PAULA

13 Jun 2009