There have/has been a large number of aftershocks.

takashi0930

Senior Member
Japanese
We had an earthquake this morning. There have/has been a large number of aftershocks.

Which is correct, have or has?
 
  • Trochfa

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Have.

    There have been a large number of aftershocks.
    There has been a single aftershock.
     

    takashi0930

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you, Trochfa.
    I thought so, but my American friend says it's "has" because the verb must follow "a large number," so I wanted to hear other native speakers' opinions.
     

    Trochfa

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    You are weclome. It may be different in AmE, but how I wrote it is how I use it.

    To me it's all to do with whether something is singular or plural. They have happened, or it has happened.
     
    Last edited:

    takashi0930

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    I see.
    I'll wait for replies from American people.
    In the meantime, I found a grammar book that says the plural form is correct. (It doesn't say AmE or BrE.) My friend is probably mistaken.
     

    takashi0930

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you, JulianStuart. I couldn't find those threads when I searched for my phrase.

    number of is are - WordReference.com Dictionary of English
    Usage
    2. As a collective noun, number, when preceded by a, is most often treated as a plural:A number of legislators have voiced their dissent.When preceded by the, it is usually used as a singular:The number of legislators present was small.


    It says "most often". When is it NOT treated as a plural? Could anyone give me some examples?

     
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