a number of invitations <has><have>…

sagar grammar

Senior Member
Namaste,
Dear members.

I have always read that the verb after the phrase is plural.
But only today have I come across a sentence, in Cambridge online dictionary at the entry of number, where a singular verb is used.
Could you help me get it?

1- A large number of invitations has been sent.

Thanks.
 
  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    In BE I'd use the plural there "A large number of invitations have been sent". I think the singular verb sounds odd. :(
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I'd use "have" there; I find "has" incorrect. I use a plural verb with "a (large/x) number of" and a singular verb with "the number of" (The number of invitations sent was huge.)
    That's how I use them too, unless the large number of something is seen as a unit and is followed by a linking verb and singular complement:

    A large number of errors in a text is often the sign of a careless writer.
    A large number of children means a heavy economic burden.
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    That's how I use them too, unless the large number of something is seen as a unit and is followed by a linking verb and singular complement:

    A large number of errors in a text is often the sign of a careless writer.
    A large number of children means a heavy economic burden.
    Yes, they are correct as well as true, though the writer could be ignorant/stupid too.:D
     
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