The expression the number is followed by a singular verb while the expression a number is followed by a plural verb.

Examples:

The number of people we need to hire is thirteen.

A number of people have written in about this subject.

Pop Quiz

Choose the correct word in each sentence.

1. The number of people lined up for tickets was/were four hundred.

2. A number of suggestions was/were made.

3. There is/are a number of important announcements in the bulletin.

4. Here is/are the number of milk shakes you requested.

Pop Quiz Answers

1. The number of people lined up for tickets was four hundred.

2. A number of suggestions were made.

3. There are a number of important announcements in the bulletin.

4. Here is the number of milk shakes you requested.

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