A total was/were

Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 09:46 am
A total of 200 cars were sold.
A total of 200 cars was sold.

Should I use 'was' or 'were'?

Many thanks.
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Type: Question • Score: 0 • Views: 12,011 • Replies: 3
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Region Philbis
Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 10:05 am
'were' sounds right...
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Reply Thu 30 Oct, 2008 11:37 am
You should use "were". Number, majority and total are singular if preceded by the, but plural if preceded by a.

A number of people believe he is innocent.
A majority of residents want the town to reduce the recreation fee.
A total of 15 people were arrested for burglary last month in our town.

But: The number of residents who signed the petition has grown.
Reply Fri 31 Oct, 2008 01:24 pm
Thanks, Region and Contrex.
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