A number of people take a show once a day.

'number' is an agent noun of the verb or 'people' is an agent noun of the verb? 'number' means amount but is the subject so I'm confusing.

  • 1
    Don't get so hung up on terminology. I don't understand "take a show" here - but whatever it means, a number of people do it. And collectively, that highlighted string of words is a noun phrase, which is the syntactic subject of the sentence. It's really irrelevant that in some other contexts, both the word number and the word people are "nouns" all on their own. What matters is they're joined together with other words (a, of) to make a noun capable of being used as the subject in this sentence. Feb 18, 2021 at 13:02
  • "take a show" should probable be "take in a show". In American English, "take in" can mean attending an event (usually entertainment or sport). macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/take-in#take-in__17
    – JavaLatte
    Jan 1, 2023 at 1:55

1 Answer 1


"A number of people" is a noun phrase and the agent. The agent is the doer of the verb.

We can see this in the passive:

A daily shower is taken by a number of people.

In passive forms, the agent is introduced by "by".

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