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I'm having some confusion expressing the form of fraction in this sentence. In this sentence should I use "three-fourths" or "three-fourth"?

To the amazement of three-fourths of the band, their controlling manager was back in their lives.

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    Now I'm curious why the fourth member was not amazed. – Andrew Sep 15 '17 at 20:27
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It is plural, because there are three of them: three-fourths. If it had been only one, it would be singular ("one-fourth of the band").

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  • It helps to remember that the compound word complicates the issue. We have a noun, "fourth." The noun means "one quarter of something." However, though a noun, the word "fourth" (and all the numeric words like it, e.g., "third," "tenth," etc.) always acts as a noun-adjective, meaning is modifies another noun (implicitly or explicitly). Thus, just as we would say, "I have two cars in my garage," we would say "I have three-fourths of an apple" ("fourths" modifies "apple" and we have three of them). – JBH Sep 15 '17 at 20:48
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"Three-fourths of the house have been completed," is the right answer. "Three-fourths of the house has been completed is wrong".

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  • Can you explain why you believe this is the answer? – Davo Apr 18 '19 at 12:57

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