(Correct), They had travelled only 6 or 7 miles when the car broke down. Decimals are always figured unless (unusually) they start sentences or occur in direct speech –, He removed the thermometer from her mouth and held it up to the The number of people present was large, but A large number of people were present. or "The players are arguing . They had travelled only six or seven miles when the car broke down. Fine, you might say, but there are numbers, damned numbers and then statistics. As Bill Bryson notes in Bryson’s Dictionary of Troublesome Words, "A common fault is to flounder about between singular and plural. Uncountable nouns and mass nouns do not normally have a plural form. But figures are always used when the word to occurs to indicate a span between two numbers. first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. (Incorrect), The lecture was about the Four Ps of marketing. And what about two plus two? Lastly, the writer’s safest guide is the nature of the script. Add 3oz of butter, 2tsp of flour and mix well. Ten is optional. ." Nouns have a grammatical category called "number". The grammar of numbers is mutable, which is both the challenge and the beauty of this imperfect science. ‘Ninety-eight point six’, he said. In language, it depends. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal 1 MHRA Style Book, Fifth Edition, Modern Humanities Research Association, 1996.       £18,428 respectively. write 14 March 2011 and the Americans, March 14 2011.       time. Within a few weeks, the current version of Peck’s English Pointers will no longer be available. Only 6 first-years attended the class last Wednesday. imaginable degree, area of This realization can help with other words, such as bunch and couple, whose number is determined more by their sense than by the preceding article. > Peck's English Pointers > Grammar > The Grammar of Numbers. In these cases, most is a better choice.       comes to thirteen thousand, four hundred and sixty-two pounds and How to Change Passive Voice to Active Voice, Over 83,000 lessons in all major subjects, {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}}, Capitalization Rules for Headlines & Titles, What is a Split Infinitive? | {{course.flashcardSetCount}} Two plus two is four, right? It depends on whether the noun refers to a single entity or to plural items and, often, on whether the noun is preceded by a or the. credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. (More natural than I got only thirty-five marks in English.) The winning numbers in Saturday’s Lotto were 12, 16, 29, 31, 32 and She was given a £500 cheque for being the millionth customer in the In such cases, it is usually the higher number that is figured –, He calculated that he would need 10 five-kilogramme bags of cement to (Clear), She bought a box of 12 sixty-watt bulbs. The fact is that with equations, singular and plural are both correct, though singular is preferred. ‘Normal.’. Quantities, fractions, slippery words like total and majority, team and staff—it’s sometimes hard to tell whether a thing is singular or plural. But, as noted above, the numbers 1–9 (or 1–10) are always written –. We need to write one per cent and a half per the Modern Humanities Research Association)1 always use the last two digits for the the later page –, The exceptions are figures between 10 and 20 and dates that span decades and centuries, when the last two digits are always given –. (Less clear), She bought a box of twelve 60-watt bulbs. Create an account to start this course today. ‘That       worse for his ordeal. Well, the more you know about language, the more you might wonder about that basic equation. Whether cardinals are figured or written largely depends on their size, and most contemporary house styles adopt the following rules. The values of number are singular (one) and plural (two or more). Number agreement refers to the agreement between singular words (words referring to one) and between plural words (words referring to more than one). You can test out of the       46. Thus we occasionally have to use ordinals –. o begin, however, here are a few general points. Example: Boy-boys, wife-wives, my-our, ox-oxen, it-they, etc. Plural number is used when the noun refers to more than one item. What is most important is to be consistent and use the same style throughout your document. Other texts, such as Garner’s Modern American Usage (3rd ed., 2009), go further and point out that most can replace a/the majority quite often, producing crisper prose and a more natural plural.

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