singular or plural verb after "percent"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by ediskvaka, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. ediskvaka Senior Member

    What form of the verb to be must be used after the word percent?
    For example: A large percent of Oxford undergraduates is / are from public schools.
  2. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
  3. fero45 Member

    It is like in other languages. I think, with a little dose of imagination you could use both

    1 - percentage ..... is .... (statistics, non-personal)
    2 - abiding by the law of proximity (the closest element) ... undergraduates are
  4. KHS

    KHS Senior Member

    I believe that "a percent/percentage of" (like "all of") acts as a quantitative modifier of the noun, and thus the noun determines the singular or plural status of the verb. *The* percentage (like the difference between "a number of" and "the number of") makes "percentage" rather than the following noun the subject.

    A large percentage of the students were waiting in the hall.
    The large percentage of students in the audience was quite unexpected.

    Others may differ with me on this.

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