Agreement with Percent

August 6, 2022 by  
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When it comes to writing about percentages, many people struggle with the correct agreement to use. Should you use a singular verb or a plural verb? The answer depends on the context of the sentence and the percentage being discussed.

When the subject of the sentence is a percentage, use a singular verb. For example: “Ten percent of the population is left-handed.” In this sentence, “population” is singular, so the verb “is” is also singular.

When the subject of the sentence is a number or amount, use a plural verb. For example: “Two-thirds of the students are taking the exam.” In this sentence, “students” is plural, so the verb “are” is also plural.

However, there are some cases where the agreement can be tricky. When the subject is a collective noun (a group of individuals), the agreement depends on whether the group is seen as a whole or as individual members. For example:

- “Ten percent of the team is injured.” In this sentence, the team is seen as a collective unit, so the verb “is” is singular.

- “Ten percent of the team are injured.” In this sentence, the team is seen as individual members, so the verb “are” is plural.

It`s important to note that when using an exact percentage (such as 50%, 75%, etc.), follow it with “of” and the singular noun. For example: “Fifty percent of the work has been completed.” This rule also applies when the percentage is less than 1%, such as “0.5% of the budget.”

In conclusion, the key to using agreement with percentages is to determine whether the subject is singular, plural, or a collective noun. By following these rules, you can ensure that your writing is clear and grammatically correct.

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