There has been written in my text book:

Penicillin was not used in the treatment of disease until a means was found of concentrating it.

I am astonished with the fact that why the writer used A before a plural word (means) and why not he used were after means instead of was, in order to satisfy subject verb agreement?

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    Please consult an English language dictionary to learn the meaning of the noun means, which is a singular, countable noun meaning "a method, instrument or process used to accomplish something". Your astonishment will end. – P. E. Dant Jun 21 '17 at 1:40
  • "Means" is a count noun with identical singular and plural forms. There is no form "mean" for the sense we're discussing here. – BillJ Jun 21 '17 at 15:10

"Means" here is not plural. It is a singular that happens to end with an "s". The plural form is the same as the singular form. "We have found only one means to accomplish this goal." "We found two means to accomplish this goal."

For definition, see http://www.thefreedictionary.com/means, scroll down to the fourth main heading, "means". (After three definitions for "mean", without an "s".)

There are a few singular nouns that end with "s", like "nucleus", "princess", and "bus".

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