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Thread: Sub-verb agreement- A majority of railway commuters

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    Within my grasp! apoorva.srivastva's Avatar
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    Sub-verb agreement- A majority of railway commuters

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    A majority of railway commuters reads or listening to music while traveling.

    a.) reads or listening
    b.) read or listening
    c.) read or listens
    d.) read or listen
    e.) reads or listens

    which should be correct d or e

    " A majority" of "plural noun" should be followed by singular or plural verb

    kindly help.
    Apoorva
    Last edited by apoorva.srivastva; 08-08-2008 at 11:09 AM.

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage yogesh_kkk's Avatar
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    A majority of railway commuters -- is plural
    whereas
    Railway commuters majority - is singular
    therefore D is correct

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    Within my grasp! apoorva.srivastva's Avatar
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    hey thanks buddy...
    this is conclude that irrespective of the plural or singular nouns that we have after words like Majority/minority etc., the verb will be singular

    am i right??

    apoorva

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage yogesh_kkk's Avatar
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    no. you misunderstood me.

    If it refers to totality - that is a group as a whole, we need a singular verb.
    for example
    Railway commuters majority(group) reads and listens to music
    Student majority decides to organize the event.
    whereas if it refers to part of totality -- i.e many individual in the group we need a plural verb
    A majority of railway commuters(many of them) read and listen to music

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    Collective nouns are singular...
    eg: crowd, team..

    If our focus is on a group as a whole then use a singular verb

    If our focus is on the individual members of the group, then use plural verb..

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    Within my grasp! apoorva.srivastva's Avatar
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    heyy hi there,

    i locatedthis sentence in Manhattan, but it says " majority of railway commuters reads or listens to music while traveling is the right construction.

    very confusing...is it because of the the article "A"

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    Can anyone provide further explanation?

    I found the following lines in washington post. Looks like 'A majority of Xs' is a plural subject.

    A majority of Americans favor the confirmation of federal appeals court judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the U.S. Supreme Court and an even larger proportion believe Alito would not vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 high court ruling that legalized abortion, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll.

    Does it mean manhattan sc answer was wrong?

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    Eager! dumbguy007's Avatar
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    'A majority of railways commuters ' plural - as we are stressing on invidiuals..


    while 'the majority of railways commuters' should be singular as we are stressing on whole group.

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    This question originally appeared on PrepForTests.com, where it includes a full explanation.
    PrepForTests.com
    Free GMAT tutorials, tips and practice questions

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    A majority of railway commuters reads or listening to music while traveling.

    a.) reads or listening
    b.) read or listening
    c.) read or listens
    d.) read or listen
    e.) reads or listens

    which should be correct d or e

    " A majority" of "plural noun" should be followed by singular or plural verb

    A majority of - takes a plural verb

    Students majority - takes a singular verb

    So in our case A majority of - takes plural verb and thus option D
    Last edited by atombomb_blast; 03-08-2009 at 08:39 AM.

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