60% sleeps – 40% sleep


Senior Member
I don’t know where is the mistake in the following sentences from a book (if there is any):
Surveys show that 60% of the population sleeps between 7 and 8 hours a night. The other 40% sleep less, or more.
Thank you.
  • iolanthe

    English, UK
    It looks as though it makes sense..
    As the 60% is referring to a finite number of the population, this technically should work, but as there are a plural number of people contained with in the 60%, it might work better as sleep. The sleep should usually be treated the same way for both


    Senior Member
    US - American English
    Should definitely be sleep in both instances.

    It's interesting to note that the '%' basically represents another prepositional phrase: 'per cent,' 'per hundred,' 'out of one hundred."

    So it the sample boils down to "60 sleeps" which is clearly incorrect.
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