Do you wonder why we sometimes use a singular verb for ‘number’ and sometimes a plural verb? If you do wonder, this is the grammatical rule for ‘a number’ and ‘the number’.

A number vs The number Grammar rule

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


The number of people we need is 10. (The number = singular verb)
A number of people have written in about this subject. (A number = plural verb)
The number of people lined up for tickets was four hundred. (The number = singular verb)
A number of suggestions were made. (A number = plural verb)

If you would like to learn about more grammatical rules, come join us for our weekly P3 – P5 classes via zoom or at the centre!

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2024 P5 English Tuition Timetable

BranchClass TypeDayTime
Bukit TimahAll Components ClassMON3 pm to 5 pm
Bukit TimahAll Components ClassWED5.45 pm to 7.45 pm
Bukit TimahAll Components ClassSAT11 am to 1pm
Bukit TimahCreative Writing Class - Creative WritersFRI 5 pm to 7 pm
Hougang PelikatAll Components ClassTUE5.30 pm to 7.30 pm
Hougang PelikatAll Components ClassSAT9 am to 11 am
Hougang PelikatAll Components ClassSAT11.30 am to 1.30 pm
Hougang PelikatCreative Writing Class - Creative WritersSUN12 pm to 2 pm
Virtual branch (100% online live tuition)All Components ClassFRI5 pm to 7 pm
This timetable has been updated on October 29, 2023.