1. A large number of rare paintings were sold last year.
  2. A large number of rare paintings was sold last year.

Which one of the sentences above is the correct one? If I consider that the verb to sell refers to 'a large number', then the use of 'was' is correct. However, considering that it refers to 'rare paintings' then I should use 'were', right?

How should I proceed on my reasoning?


2 Answers 2


We are Mr. White's other 10th grade English class. Our answer is: a number vs. the number

The number of people we need to hire is thirteen.

A number of people have written in about this subject.


We are Mr. White's 10th grade English class. We feel that if the subject were rare paintings,then it would be plural. However there is a faction among us that believes that the subject ia a large number. Our split: 14=Rare paintings 3 = a large number 11 are too scared to answer

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