“Numbers of participants has…?

I am back on the subject/verb agreement platform today, but with a slight twist. It is important to be careful with wording when you refer to NUMBER and AMOUNT. It is also important to decide what is singular and what is plural. Consider this sentence from an article about the annual Veterans Day Parade in Birmingham:

Numbers of participants in the veterans activities has been declining as the World War II veterans age and die.

Whoops! NUMBERS is plural, but the main verb here is HAS, which is singular. Either the subject or the verb needs to be changed to create agreement. In this case, the choice should be to change NUMBERS to THE NUMBER, then adjust a little more for clarity. The sentence should read this way:

The number of participants in activities for veterans has been declining as the World War II veterans age and die.

 NOTE: The first Veterans Day Parade in the United States was held in Birmingham, Alabama, on November 11, 1954. This parade continues to be the largest in the country.



3 Responses to ““Numbers of participants has…?”

  1. Melanie says:

    Thanks a lot for finding the time to explain the terminlogy towards the newcomers!

  2. Habtom Yohannes says:

    Thanks a lot. The number of participants WAS not as expected (instead of WERE); am I write?


  3. admin says:

    Yes, you are RIGHT (as in correct).

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